Trustees Discuss Budget, Garfield Construction

Isiah Reyes

The Garfield Campus expansion project was at the heart of the discussion during the Nov. 16 board of trustees meeting, along with concerns over the current state budget’s effect on GCC.

The meeting, which was held at the Garfield campus, featured a special presentation by Michael Rachlin, of Rachlin Architects, who gave a quick overview of the progress on the project.

“Eventually we’ll have parking for 180 cars as part of the [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] requirements,” Rachlin said. “What we’re envisioning here is a three-story building, about 40,000 square feet. And one of the main features of the building is the entrance courtyard plaza.”

The new classroom and office building is slated to cost $14.5 million and be paid for by Measure G, a $98-million construction bond that voters passed in 2002. The project is scheduled to be completed by September 2011.

Rachlin said he looked at GCC’s administration building for inspiration, stating that “there’s history there [at GCC], there’s character there, there’s an institutional feeling and we wanted to create that same kind of feeling here on [Garfield], so that there was a relationship [between the two].”

In addition to the 14 new classrooms built to replace the old ones, several public areas are to be included.

On the first floor, a community center meeting room will double as a student lounge and testing center. It will have snack machines and provide a place for students to relax or study away from “the summer heat and winter rains.”

Presently, there is no space indoors for students to congregate other than covered tables in the corridor area of the bungalows.

Some additional costs were found by Bill Taylor, the college’s construction management consultant. They were not considered at the time of the original contract. He asked for a reallocation of G funds to pay for new asphalt, which is currently estimated to cost $90,000.

In addition, he requested a new paint job for the old building and housing for the cadets on the Garfield Campus.

Taylor asked for about $258,000 to cover the projects. There is currently about $53,000 left over from two projects, which have closed out. There is less than $50,000 in the project reserve.

“The state is not able to estimate the extent to what community colleges would have to face [cutbacks in the current state’s budget],” said Ron Nakasone, vice president of administrative services.

“The state also said when the governor releases the 2010-11 budget in January, that he’ll probably address any mid-year adjustments at that time. Community colleges have some protection against the budget cuts because of Proposition 98, although the prop guarantee is going down,” Nakasone said.

Terry Coblentz, women’s athletic director, spoke of the progress of GCC sports, stating that the volleyball team will make the playoffs for the first time since 1987.

As part of GCC’s beautification project to keep the campus clean, cleanup days have been established. The next one will be on Nov. 24 at noon. Lilya Avagyan, governing body president and student trustee, told attendees that the previous campus cleanup day on Nov. 11 was a success.

Avagyan also mentioned that the GCC speech and debate team won gold in its competition in the Pasadena City College tournament. “This is the first time in the history of GCC [that this has happened]. So we’re very proud of our speech and debate team.”

Interim President Dawn Lindsay ended the meeting by reminding the members of the board that they’ll be attending the Montrose Christmas Parade in two convertibles and will be waving to spectators.

The next board of trustees meeting will be held in Kreider Hall on Dec. 21 at 5 p.m.