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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Formal cancellations and project proposals

After votes were tallied, all the action items were passed during the the Pierce College Council meeting on Sept. 27. These action items include the formal cancelling of three construction projects, and three proposals that will add to the campus’ infrastructure.

Many of these projects, such as the construction of the proposed Digital Arts and Media building and renovation of Parking Lots 5 and 6, have ran out of efficient funding while being in and out of development for years.

The council voted to formally cancel the proposed Digital Arts and Media building and have the remaining sum of $135 in its budget sent to a reserve fund.

Fernando Oleas, chair of the modern languages department, pointed out how this project has been at a stand still for years.

“I have been a part of this committee for eight years now, and I have not seen any progress on these projects,” Oleas said. “Now the real question is should we cancel the project now, or wait until we know what the next project will be moving forward.”

With the cancellation of the Digital Arts and Media building, the site is now proposed to be turned into a multipurpose academic building.

In response to this, multimedia professor Sean McDonald mentioned how he hoped that the project would have came into fruition by now.

“As a multimedia person, this is very disappointing to hear,” McDonald said. “We have to make due with what we have now.”

When improving utilities in classrooms came into discussion, Lyn Clark, chair of the computer applications and office technologies department, described how the equipment in the Business building is not in proper working condition.

“We have six rooms and not all the projectors work. And we don’t have consistent WiFi throughout it,” Clark said.

As a response to Clark’s statement, Chairman of the Mathematics department Eddie Tchertchian mentioned that the problem of classroom utilities goes beyond the business building.

“At least you have projectors to fix,” Tchertchain said. “We don’t even have access to WiFi.”

Although the board debated about the lack of classroom necessities available in some buildings on campus, the members voted to formally cancel the defunded construction projects and approved the proposal for three future plans.

“One project we were talking about, the agriculture science building was part of the original 2001 masterplan, and I believe it was revisited twice in 2007 and 2014,” Buckley said. “10 years ago we had a number of bond projects, and there was a halt, or pause in construction, which was typical as you want to do things right.”

Buckley also described how enrollment rates are lowering across all Los Angeles community colleges, which leads to less money for the colleges.

“During the recession of 2008 unemployment was high, which brought in a lot of people who wanted to pursue education,” Buckley said. “Now unemployment is at an all time low, even in the valley, and people have become content with entry level jobs, reversing enrollment rates.”

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