By Emilio Rodriguez
Watch out for falling trees. A new irrigation system, trees and plumbing upgrades are being installed through a six-stage process that will connect to the Central Plant infrastructure project. The project involves a full renovation of the central mall.
Removal of the trees will benefit the campus, officials said. Many were disease ridden, were not trimmed properly and have been structurally compromised causing them to fall with heavy winds, Santa Ana College Facilities Manager Mark Wheeler said.
The entire process involves removing trees throughout campus, the reconstruction of the Johnson Building, the addition of a science building and a new irrigation system that will feed a new fountain.
“If it’s going to benefit the school it’s good,” SAC student Claire Ortiz said.
New trees will be planted as construction progresses and will be placed in “root boxes,” stopping them from damaging sidewalks by growing past their rooting area, Wheeler said.
More trees will be added than are being removed. The type and amount of trees being installed is still being determined. The time it will take to complete also will vary depending on the weather and other factors, Wheeler said.
“We are making an all-out effort to install trees that are as big as possible and install the allowable irrigation systems at the same time,” he added.
Even though all these new upgrades will benefit the school in the long run the construction is affecting the quality of education.
“Its definitely impacting in the sense of noise and air quality has always been an issue on this campus but the construction is a necessary evil,” said Department Chair of the Communications Studies Department, Lance Lockwood.
Infrastructure upgrades are paid for by funds from Measure Q with work continuing until October 2017.