Tuesday, November 18, 2003

SCC to purchase land for Vallejo campus

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

SCC to purchase land for campus

By Nada Behziz

-- In less than three days Solano Community College will be the new owners of 10-acres in the Northgate Business Park slated for a prospective extension campus in Vallejo as part of the Measure G bond project.

Measure G, a narrowly approved $124.5 million bond measure, will fund new campuses in Vallejo and Vacaville, as well as upgrade and expand the current Rockville campus. The new Vallejo campus will replace the existing SCC facilities in Vallejo and will bring 24 more classrooms and upgraded facilities to the city.

"This is a landmark event," said SCC President Paulette Perfumo. "We made it quite clear what we wanted and they gave it to us."

Members of the bond citizen oversight committee discussed recruitment options Monday night to help the college meet state requirements to enroll at least 500 full-time equivalent students at the Vallejo campus.

Although Vallejo will have significantly fewer classrooms than the Vacaville center, members are still concerned that students will continue to travel to Diablo Valley College or other nearby community colleges instead of SCC.

"We want students in Benicia to know that they are in our district and we want them here," said Governing Board President Bill Thurston. "We want to see if we can recapture students who are going across the bridge."

College officials are also working with Benicia High School to attract more students and have the option of using its facility after school hours.

The college, along with construction manager Kitchell CEM, is currently in the process of narrowing down prospective architects.

Kitchell officials are currently reviewing 40 submitted proposals and expect to narrow down the field in the next few weeks, according to Kitchell representative Mark Newton.

The firm has divided the applicants into two pools, based on their qualifications - projects over $10 million and projects below $10 million. They expect to hire at least two to three architects for the small projects and, at minimum, three to four architectural firms for the larger endeavors.

Kitchell representatives plan to have all architects on board by mid-February.

However, before deciding on architectural firms for the numerous projects under Measure G, the board must first decide if they plan to go with a highly controversial Project Labor Agreement, which limits their options to only union contractors.

The board is expect to discuss the potential project agreement further at its Nov. 19 meeting. The meeting will be held in the board room at SCC, room 626 at 7 p.m.

Nada Behziz can be reached at nbehziz@dailyrepublic.net.

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