Message from President Roberts: Health, Science & Advanced Manufacturing Classroom Complex update

Dear Colleague,

I am writing to provide an update on the construction of our new Health, Science & Advanced Manufacturing Classroom Complex (HSAMCC). As you may be aware, we experienced a significant delay between our initial request for state funding in 2012 and the appropriation by the legislature in 2017. This delay along with escalating regional construction costs (which state appropriations for cost escalation have not kept up with) resulted in the loss of an entire floor in the building, which in turn reduced the space available for the Advanced Manufacturing and Dental Hygiene programs.

Three factors made it difficult for these programs to be retained in the projected smaller HSAMCC building: (1) the significant total square footage required for Dental Hygiene, which could not be accommodated without displacing other programs; (2) the specific requirement that the Dental Hygiene space be publicly accessible and in a visible ground-floor location; (3) Advanced Manufacturing also requires a ground-floor location due to the significant weight of the machinery.

Because of the unique requirements of the Dental Hygiene program, the College immediately began exploring other space options. During spring quarter 2019, we explored moving the entire HSAMCC building by 100 feet to the north and adding back a fourth floor to the building. This option would have allowed the College to maintain the 2500 building so neither the Dental Hygiene nor Advanced Manufacturing programs would have to be displaced during construction. However, this option surfaced numerous concerns related to permitting, environmental impacts, and delays in construction that would result in an additional expense of $14M to the project. This option was not financially feasible and the College began exploring other on-campus and off-campus options for Advanced Manufacturing in the short-term and Dental Hygiene for the short and long-term.

Exploring Dental Hygiene Options

In early summer, working with our architectural and construction firms, we continued exploring the implications of moving the Dental Hygiene program to the first floor of Building 9000 (PUB). With additional due diligence, multiple concerns surfaced including at least two other student services needing to be displaced in the cascade of moves (the Bookstore and Student Computer Lab). The College also discovered the funding of the PUB restricts the use of the space to non-student activities and services. The outcome of these discoveries effectively eliminated the PUB first floor space, as an option.

Throughout the summer, the College continued the on-campus exploration of alternate space for Dental Hygiene. This intricate exploration involved the cost of building upgrades, equipment moves and purchases, and dislocations of other programs. This search for on-campus options is still underway. The College continues to explore various off-campus options for our Dental Hygiene program, including partnerships and off-campus leasing of retail space.

Exploring Advanced Manufacturing Options

In anticipation of construction beginning in July 2020, the Advanced Manufacturing program will need to move off-campus for about two years. We are continuing to work with potential partners, including temporary leasing options during the construction period.

Although the exploration of short- and long-term solutions for both of these programs is not ideal, the College will continue to consider all possible opportunities to support these programs that serve our students and our community. We will provide updates as additional information becomes available.

Respectfully,

Cheryl Roberts, Ed.D.

President

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