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Monday, November 30, 2020

Head project manager explains revised construction plans

The Pierce College Master Plan for construction projects north of the campus Mall has been updated and the planned media arts building will be downsized, College Project Director Ed Cadena said during the Academic Senate meeting on Monday, Nov. 17.

The media arts building is supposed to be built where the old library currently stands and was originally planned to be a large, three-story building. However, construction costs will result in the schematics being revised.

“It has now essentially been downsized to a much smaller building,” Cadena said. “I don’t want to limit the creativity of the architects, but it’s probably not going to be three stories.”

Cadena confirmed that the old library would still be removed to make way for the media arts building.

“In the North of Mall currently there are eighty classrooms being programed to become smart classrooms with SMART boards and projectors,” Cadena said. “The south of mall when it gets revisited is supposed to have that same consideration afforded to it.”

In addition to discussing the media arts building and North of Mall, Cadena also said that the Performing Arts building, which is now heading into its fourth year of reconstruction, might be opened by next spring.

“We have a target that I think is very achievable which will go ahead and allow occupancy for the spring session,” Cadena said. “We are having to go through some hoops that are inflamed with the hottest fire you could imagine and doing backflips through it.”

The update announcements came as a surprise to the senators, however. After Cadena began speaking about them, the senators expressed that they had not been included in the plan’s recent revisions.

Joe Perret, professor of computer applications and senate treasurer, said that even though there was some faculty input in the recent updates, the Academic Senate should have been directly consulted on the matter.

“We need to make sure that any revisions to this plan are approved by the shared governance factors here on campus,” Perret said. “There may have been faculty input, but those select faculty members don’t necessarily represent the whole faculty governance of the campus.”

Another senator, professor of psychology Angela Belden, shared a similar opinion to Perret.

“We see a lot of unilateral decisions being made without shared governance,” Belden said. “We’re a senate, we need to do something.”

Belden’s statement was received with applause from her fellow senators during the meeting.

Despite Cadena’s assurances of fidelity in regards to the construction plans, some senators remained unsure of how efficient the construction will actually be once it starts.

Constance Moffatt, instructor of art history, said that she hopes the builders perform better on the North of Mall projects than they did on the South of Mall ones.

“I would like the builders to get some feedback from the users of those buildings in the North of Mall area,” Moffatt said. “I just hope that they do a great job.”

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