When completed in 2017, Santa Barbara City College’s three-story West Campus Classroom Building will add 23 classrooms and 15 faculty staff offices, and is expected to lead to the removal of at least a dozen portable classrooms. (Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architect, Inc. (KBZ) rendering)

With the California Coastal Commission’s final approval behind it, Santa Barbara City College will start construction this summer on its last major capital project funded by Measure V, the $77 million bond measure local voters approved in 2008.

The three-story West Campus Classroom Building will be built north of the Garvin Theatre and the Drama/Music Building on the campus at 721 Cliff Drive.

Construction is expected to be completed in the spring of 2017, said Joan Galvan, SBCC’s public information officer. Building the project will use up the last $15 million of the bond money, she said.

The project — which is required to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards — will add 23 classrooms and 15 faculty staff offices to the campus. According to SBCC, the building also will house existing programs that are overcrowded elsewhere on campus, as well as those that are currently using the East Campus portable classroom buildings.

Thierry Cassan of Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architect, Inc. is the principal architect for the project. 

Galvan said the new building will replace existing classrooms, and 12 portable structures will be removed once it’s finished.

“The college is not in growth mode,” she noted.

The Coastal Commission approved the notice of impending development at its meeting in Santa Barbara earlier this month, giving the final go-ahead for construction. Commissioners were concerned about parking, since no additional spaces are proposed as part of the project and, in the words of a staff report, on-campus parking is “already significantly constrained.”

Instead, SBCC put together an alternative transportation plan with new do-it-yourself bicycle repair stations and more bicycle and motorcycle parking spaces. SBCC will also remove the 10 unpermitted portable classrooms on the project site.

Parking studies found that vehicle parking in peak hours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ranges from 89-percent occupied to 97-percent occupied, according to the Coastal Commission staff report.

Measure V was passed in June 2008 and authorized SBCC to sell $77.2 million in bonds, which have been spent on capital projects, including major renovations, deferred maintenance and repairs.

SBCC spent $17.1 million on the Drama/Music Building modernization and put $15.7 million toward the Humanities Building modernization projects, according to an audit of the bond spending.

Other major projects included the replacement of La Playa Stadium’s football field and track, building the Luria Conference and Press Center, pedestrian bridge repairs, installing keyless entry and locks, and remodeling the East Campus and West Campus snack shops.

SBCC tried for another bond last year but voters shot down the $288 million measure.

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Managing Editor

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com.