Campus facelifts to begin in March

Kiyomi Kikuchi

Landscaping of the area south of the Pierce College mall (from Brahma Drive to Parking Lot 7) will take shape over the course of the coming semesters as money from Propositions A/AA continues to fund a face lift.

The reformation of the landscape will begin March 2009 from Brahma Drive to the end of the Life Science Building. The landscaping from the rest of the mall to the entrance of the Parking Lot 7 will be completed by Fall 2010.

During the coming semesters, paths will be made between the construction and classes in the Life Science Building.

Pierce President Robert Garber said the mall will be widened and paved with blocks that look softer than the current cement.

There will be a big bench in front of the Life Science building, which will be two-thirds the size of the building. A large table will also be placed in the empty space between the Great Hall and the Business Office.

Additionally, the plants currently lining the mall will be replaced with drought-tolerant plants in accordance with a Los Angeles Community College District policy stating campus landscaping should be sustainable, which means it will require less water to maintain the plants.

Nancy Pearlman, LACCD Board of Trustees member, is the driving force behind not only the landscaping at Pierce, but also all of the construction of the “green buildings.”

“I think it’s important that people be aware that we are sustainable, and recognize the colleges [for it],” said Pearlman, who pushes that the colleges not only conform to the sustainability standards, but go above and beyond.

Biology professors Kate Kubach and Pat Farris, as well as department chair Dr. James Rikel, have been encouraging the “Go Green” movement at Pierce since 2001 when they collected donations and changed the botanical garden into an economized garden.

Rikel said water usage in the two acres of the botanical garden was reduced 70 to 80 percent after replacing the lawn with Mediterranean plants.

“I’m so happy,” exclaimed Rikel, who suggested that the landscape around the mall should be replaced, similar to the Botanical Garden, with drought-tolerant plants.

These renovations have already been paid for by Propositions A/AA. The passage of Measure J on the Nov. 4 ballot will allow for more landscaping in the future.

Traci Drelen, Child Development instructor, and Larry Andre, philosophy instructor, work in their temporary office, which they share with six other instructors until the renovations of the Faculty Offices are complete. “We hope to move back to the Faculty Offices by Fall of 09,” said Drelen. ()

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