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Santa Barbara City College Breaks Ground on Bond-Funded Classroom, Office Building

The $22-million West Campus building will replace portable classrooms and is the last project funded by Measure V bond money

SBCC President Lori Gaskin breaks ground Wednesday on the classroom and office building project funded by Measure V bond money.
SBCC President Lori Gaskin breaks ground Wednesday on the classroom and office building project funded by Measure V bond money.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Replacing aging portable classrooms has been a goal for many years at Santa Barbara City College, and school officials celebrated a groundbreaking on Wednesday for a new 30,000-square-foot facility that will make most of those portables a thing of the past.

College staff and supporters gathered on Wednesday on a spot of land next to Garvin Theater to break ground on what will be SBCC’s new West Campus Classroom and Office Building.

The facility will house 23 classrooms and office. The space will be home to indoor and outdoor areas for students to study.

The facility is the last major project to be funded by Measure V monies, garnered by a $77 million capital improvement bond measure approved by voters in June 2008.

The project is expected to cost about $22.2 million with $19.6 million coming from Measure V funds, SBCC spokeswoman Joan Galvan said. 

Previous estimates put the construction cost at $15 million.

President Lori Gaskin was on hand Wednesday, and even climbed into the seat of a small earth mover to break ground on the project.

She thanked the public for passing the measure, and praised the foresight to modernize the campus. At the college’s campus, “classrooms have always been at a premium,” Gaskin said.

With the lack of permanent classroom space, the college used as many as 51 portable trailers at the peak of their usage.

Time passed and “portables somehow morphed into long term,” Gaskin said, even though they were “ill-suited” for instruction.

After the West Campus building has been completed, the campus will be down to 19 portables, thanks to the new classroom space provided.

Board of Trustees President Marianne Kugler said the new space would be “a beautiful environment for student learning.”

Isaac Eaves, president of the SBCC’s Associated Student Government, agreed.

“This is a great thing for the students,” he said.

The project is expected to be completed by January 2018.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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