Looking forward to finishing campus construction

Students and staff at Pierce College can look beyond the chain link fences surrounding campus construction to see what the future holds for the school’s appearance.

There are 14 construction projects currently in progress, with eight additional projects in moratorium. Once the construction project is completed, Pierce will have more than a dozen new or renovated buildings, according to the September 2013 Los Angeles Community College District Building Program Monthly Progress Report.

The Library/Learning Crossroads and Student Services buildings are two examples of what the future holds for the campus, according to Pierce President Kathleen Burke.

“[The campus] should have a unified look,” Burke said.

However it may take a while for this unified look to take shape, as 11 of the buildings under construction are part of the North of Mall project and currently have completion dates of around 2015.

In 2002, these projects were expected to be completed by 2006, according to the Addendum to the Los Angeles Pierce College 2010 Master Plan Update of the 2002 Master Plan. When the report was published in July 2010 the project completion dates were pushed back to 2012.

Currently, these buildings are slated to be in use as early as 2015, according to the September Progress Report.

Although some projects, like the Digital Arts and Media building, are not expected to be in use until 2018, construction has already improved some parts of campus, according to Paula Paggi, chair of the Library Department.

Paggi is a fan of the new Library/Learning Crossroads building, which is one of the 24 completed projects at Pierce.

“It’s just grand compared to the old building. The students find it very inviting,” she said.

Paggi has hope for the future of the campus and believes that once the remaining construction projects are completed, Pierce will have a completely unique look.

“It’s going to be really a fantastic place because we’re going to have a really good core with up-to-date smart classrooms and functioning areas,” Paggi said.

This “fantastic place” can be hard for students like Vanessa Barrientos, a 20-year-old electrical engineering student who has yet to see Pierce not under construction.

“It’s still here. I don’t know what they’re going to do exactly,” Barrientos said.

However, she is interested to see what the future holds for the construction sites at Pierce.

“I want to see the outcome, I want to see the before and after. It’s taking them forever. If it’s taking them forever they must be building something special,” Barrientos said.

While half of the construction projects at Pierce have been completed, there remains more than $220 million in the school’s construction budget to finish the remaining projects, according to the September Progress Report.

According to the document, 24 of the 48 campus construction projects at Pierce have been completed with 62 percent of the $627.8 million construction budget spent to date.

One of the uncompleted projects is the Digital Arts and Media building which is expected to replace the former library building that will most likely be demolished and rebuilt, according to Burke.

This building has a current budget of $46.6 million, according to the September Progress Report, and is expected to link the Mall and Arts Center. It is always important to try and stick to budgets as much as possible. It can help to use construction companies have ensured that all of their workers are licensed to a very high level. An example of the sort of licensing that can be very helpful is high risk licensing. You can view courses here. Nonetheless, the work here is still yet to be completed.

”Part of what needs to be done with this building is we need to have a means of bridging the height between the Mall and the Arts Hill, and that’s about 80 feet,” Burke said.

Pierce is estimated to be construction-free in April 2018, according to the September Progress Report.