Campus construction creates congestion

BOTTLENECK: The south-east exit off Bristol Street overflows with motorists during peak hours.

Motorists will face difficulty parking on campus this semester with a major road closed and about 120 stalls cordoned off for construction.

The road extending from Phillips Hall to the Chavez Building is closed until May 17 to make way for the second phase of Santa Ana College’s Unification Project.

“We have to sacrifice and be flexible with parking right now for the construction,” said
Lt. James Wooley, District Safety and Security Supervisor.

Upon completion, phase two of the unification project will add 45 parking spaces to the student lot south of Phillips Hall.

However, commuters have already lost patience.

“It’s horrible, I hate it,” said staff member Dianne Freeman, who searched for as long as 20 minutes for a spot. “It wasn’t a problem today, but tomorrow might be a different story now that there are restricted areas.”

Parking spots were so scarce on the first day of construction that campus security officers instructed motorists to park in red zones designated for overflow parking, Wooley said.

About 62 student spaces southwest of Dunlap Hall have been redesignated for staff use.

“As much as we have advertised this, people are now in the reality that campus is closed from front to back,” Wooley said.

The $6 million perimeter project, paid for through Measure E funds, intends to unify the campus entrances with a central theme for SAC’s centennial in 2015, President Erlinda Martinez said.

The replacement of sidewalks surrounding campus added about $180,000 to construction costs, said Peter Hardash, Vice Chancellor of business operations and fiscal services.

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Because portions of the sidewalk are elevated and cracked, the city requires the college to replace portions to make it more accessible, an official from Santa Ana Public
Works said.

Construction exceeding $30,000 in costs must improve public image and be paid for by the developer, not the city, according to municipal codes.

Construction will continue along the perimeter of campus through the end of 2013.

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