Rejuvenation of the Quad

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By David Morris

The renovation is slated to be finished in 2007

By David Morris

The distinct sound of jackhammers and large equipment moving through the Quadrangle resounds all throughout the upper campus. But upon a further glance a whole fourth of the building is completely missing. The section that was removed was erected in the 1970s because of earthquake damage to the original wing. During that time a massive seismic upgrade was underdone to the rest of the Quad as well.

“Structurally, the Quad is sound,” said ASR Construction Project superintendent, Zack Beck.

The structure that was built in its place in 1976 did not contain the auditorium but a smaller lecture hall which later on was converted into a theater. The theater itself wasn’t practical because it had a pole in the middle of the stage.

“It wasn’t torn down due to safety concerns. We wanted to make space for larger classrooms and return to the original facade,” said Director of Facilities Robert Gurrola.

The new wing will be built to original specifications. The first floor will contain a new art gallery, newer bigger bathrooms, offices and three additional classrooms. The second floor will contain nine offices and four classrooms. The west wing will be built to match the south wing.

Room 144 and the old art gallery is being gutted and opened up to utilize the enormous space. It will be converted into a lecture hall, complete with sloping seats and a stage at the front. The ceiling is being pushed up to the rafters to allow all the open space and old architectural design to be revealed.

The Tiger’s Den is being completely gutted and converted to mainly offices and a few classrooms. Students will have to make their way to the Bookstore or cafeteria for food.

One of the more significant changes of the Quad will tower above the students as they walk through the northeast entrance to the Quad. A 70 foot clock tower that was included in the original plans but never built has been approved for construction and will be going up.

The inside of the Quad courtyard, however, is staying 100 percent intact and preserved.

Walking in front of the Digital Library entrance will show a large swimming pool-like hole where the west wing of the Quad used to be. According to Beck, when a building is demolished, all the footings come up and they have to re-compact the earth and then bring it back up.

Riverside City College was able to make all these changes to the Quad by use of a state program called Category C. This gave monies to help modernize constructional space of any buildings over 30 years old. Category C wanted to preserve historical buildings through improving structural efficiency without increasing the gross square footage.

The construction crew was taking extra precautions to protect the plants and the historical significance of the Quad. Caution tape was wrapped around rose gardens and areas of the grass and trees. Plywood was used as a protective barrier on pillars, stairs, and the concrete walkways.

The reconstruction completion is slated for spring of 2007 with an official opening the following fall semester, according to Gurrola.

The spring 2007 completion will usher in the stage 2 of the project, furnishing and setting up all the equipment.

“Its going to look nice,” Beck said.

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