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$50 million construction to begin

By Jared Amdahl, opinion editor
On August 28, 2013

As the school year begins, the Contra Costa College Facilities Master Plan to remodel the campus student activities center by fall 2016 moves forward.
"We're beginning to move," Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said. "We put the bid up, and it went to Lathrop for $7 million under budget."
Lathrop Construction Associates, Inc. was the recipient of the construction contract to construct the new Student Center for $50 million.
"We're in the process of moving everything out (of the Student Activities Building), and I believe everything but the Bookstore and Subway have relocated," King said.
Given the lack of space on campus , the college will relocate Subway and the Bookstore into temporary buildings that will be brought into Lot 9 in October.
"When everyone is it out of the Student Activities and Humanities buildings we'll hopefully be ready to begin (tearing them down) in November," King said.
The 102,200 square-foot demolition and construction project is set to start in November.
"It'll begin with putting up chain-link fences and then the demolition of the two buildings," King said.
With heavy construction set to begin in the middle of the fall semester, students on campus will be greatly affected.
Having a construction zone in the middle of the campus will essentially split the campus into two different sections, King said.
Students will soon have to find alternate routes to their classes located at different ends of the campus and deal with nearby construction.
Sister college to CCC, Diablo Valley College has had a major construction project going for the last year.
"If you don't know your way around campus it can become very difficult," DVC history major Melissa Hunt said. "The worst part is having a class directly next to the construction. It can definitely become a major distraction."
With a three-year plan going into effect beginning in November, college officials stand hopeful of staying on track and being focused.
"We're given a three-year plan, and we'll just have to see how things progress," King said. "It's kind of ironic. The students today won't even see it or get to use the new facilities. I'm excited though."
Caitlin Zeulli, a contract administrator, has been appointed liaison between Lathrop and school officials on campus.
"So what we're looking at is new SA Building, Fireside Room, Humanities Building and we'll be moving the Three Seasons Restaurant into what will be the new SA Building," Zeulli said.
There isn't an exact cost at the moment. As the construction company is essentially figuring out what the college wants, needs and can afford in a $50 million building project, she said.
The 57-year-old campus has already seen recent renovations to the Music Building coinciding with the Facilities Master Plan.
To be finished by 2016, college officials hope to see a brand new rebuilt facility in a "project build time of three years," Zuelli said.

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