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Friday, August 7, 2020

Brief: Construction and budget concerns

Construction continues on Pierce College with a Multipurpose Academic and Workforce Education Building, a Child Development Academic Facility and an Industrial Technology Building taking priority.

The Pierce College Council met Thursday for the last meeting of the semester to discuss the construction plans and how to fund them.

To construct a building on campus, it must go through an annual four-step process.

First, the space is analyzed to determine what it is going to be used for and to measure the space needed. One factor that determines the size of buildings is enrollment rate.

That data is used to find different models that are looked at to determine the aesthetics of the building. The models are generic and are based on buildings that are constructed for specific academic disciplines.

Classrooms and office locations are then decided within the building. This plan is on track to be completed by the end of the year, according to the Budget Committee.

Instructional Assistant of Media Arts Sean McDonald said he was concerned about the priority of the Media Arts Department building.

“We have been continuously shrinking as we keep getting moved around campus,” McDonald said. “We need to get a building already.”

McDonald also expressed concern that planning for construction is set to occur during summer.

“The problem is that most faculty will be gone when the planning and programs are going on,” McDonald said.

Fernando Oleas, the Pierce AFT Chapter President, said he was skeptical of the plan’s viability.

“We are already uncertain about funds, and this plan is based on those funds,” Oleas said. “They don’t know if it’s going to work.

According to the council, the funds come from Measure CC and the district.

Oleas said that the plan, in addition to other changes, may adversely affect classes.

“The new concept of enrollment and other factors already affect various departments,” Oleas said. “This plan will only shrink more programs.”

Oleas is also concerned about discussing the funds.

“We haven’t discussed the funds,” Oleas said. “We need to see how and where to utilize these funds.”

However, Oleas said the Budget Committee will have the issues sorted.

“They are the experts,” Oleas said. “I think they do an incredible job.”

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