Campus Construction Nears Halfway Point

Santa Ana campus is in its sixth and final phase of a major construction makeover. / el Don Staff

The months of endless dirt, re-routings and noise are coming to an end in Spring 2018, as construction on central campus nears completion. The effort now consists of underground work, carefully replacing 100-year-old pipes and electrical wiring. As a result, seven buildings will be provided with heating and air conditioning upgrades.

Student and safety remain the first priority, but the constant route changes on campus make it difficult for everyone to adjust.

“I just wish there was clearer communication with the students,” said freshman Gabriela Arreola. “For weeks one way to class will be okay, then it just disappears.”

Not only has the re-routing caused confusion, but noise has been a distraction.

“ They’ve figured it out, and we’ve adjusted. I mean there’s a ton of things that could be different,” Study Skills Professor Gabriela Sanchez said. “It’s a little frustrating, but they gave a noise warning once, which was helpful.”

As construction continues, new features will include an outdoor amphitheater adjacent to Dunlap Hall, a fountain with trellis, seating areas and a new Centennial Circle as a tribute to 100 years of Santa Ana College.
“It’s a little annoying, it just makes it kind of hard to get around. Definitely wasn’t a good idea to start it all at the same time. All the seating areas are gone, so it leaves the computer lab and library, which is right in the middle of everything. So, I leave campus to study,” bio engineering major Abigael Potts said.

Phillips Hall will be undergoing structural work upgrades as well.

Due to the wood used in the original construction, termite fumigation will begin in June. As a result, summer classes could be temporarily relocated.

” The first two weeks of the semester I asked my boyfriend to take me to school because last semester I spent an hour looking for parking and I was almost dropped from one class,” psychology major Cecilia Medina said, when asked if parking was troubling.

SAC is developing an additional surface parking lot on Bristol and 17th streets for $2.5 million, provided by Measure E, a bond approved by voters for campus renovations.

According to Facilities Manager Mark Wheeler, there are 2,872 parking spaces available. the new parking lot will provide about 180 additional spaces. Construction is scheduled to start this summer and be completed by the end of the fall semester.

“ The construction is only going to benefit future students,” English Professor James Isbell said. “SAC is 100 years old, it’s bound to get a makeover.”

 

Gloria Pintor contributed to this report. 

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