By James Williams | Interim News Editor
A total of $32 million will be spent for Riverside City College’s latest construction project that will affect several different locations on campus.
The bulk of the money, which is funded by Measure C, spent on the project will be for a new Student Services and Administration Building.
The estimated total for the new building will cost $25.925 million.
“When I first went to RCC I saw there were 11 different places that new students have to go to,” said RCCD interim Chancellor Cynthia Azari.
“What we want to do is make (the new Student Services and Administration Building) a one stop center and bring all of those services together.”
Interim RCC President Wolde-Ab Isaac believes that having everything in one building will keep students from traveling all over campus to find the support they are seeking.
“We will have the new building that will bring in student services that are scattered throughout the campus into one central location,” said Isaac.
“Therefore a student needing any kind of support will be able to find it in one place instead of bouncing from one office to another office across campus.”
The new building is going to be built just across from the Math and Science Building, which is currently occupied by Lot B on the corner of Magnolia Avenue and Ramona Drive.
The parking lot is expected to be compensated for once the new building has been completed.
“The administration building is going to be demolished and become (the new) parking lot,” Isaac said.
The administration building is in the location of the president’s office, Disabled Student Services, the mailroom and the Veteran’s Resource Center among other departments.
The buildings currently occupied by student financial services will be vacated when they move into the new building.
According to Isaac, what will move into the vacant buildings going forward is being discussed but nothing is certain at this time.
“There is a group that is looking at the secondary effects in terms of where we have space problems and how we will be able to use those spaces effectively to solve those problems once those (buildings are vacated),” Isaac said.
He also mentioned that the same process will take place when some of RCC’s school of the arts department moves off campus to the new building that is going to be built on Market Street.
A new cafe/restaurant is also said to be a part of the $32 million project.
“As you can see with the development of the campus, the campus is maturing into a fully equipped campus,” Isaac explained.
“We have the new math and science building, the nursing building, the quad and now the new student services building; all of which are further way from the cafeteria which is closer to the other areas down on the south side (of campus).”
Isaac stated a need had been identified on the campus of over 19,000 students.
“We need to create a space for people to find food on this side of the campus, so they do not have to travel all the way to the cafeteria down on the other side.”
The new facility will be called “Grab N’ Go” and is budgeted to cost $1.6 million.
Isaac said it is going to be like a proper restaurant, where students will be able to sit and “get good food.”
The progress of the construction is expected to be posted on the college’s
website to keep students up to date.
Aside from the student services project, the college has had plans in place for other buildings to be renovated or built in the future.
The old Physical Life Sciences Building has been planned to be the place for the business and CIS departments.
“The old Physical Life Sciences Building is our number one project waiting to be funded by the state … it has not been a lack of planning but a lack of funding,” Isaac explained.
According to Isaac, RCC had submitted the project for refurbishment of the building to the state and “it has been on the queue for a long time because there was no bond money, after the state almost went through bankruptcy.”
After five years of waiting, RCC is still not sure when the state will start funding buildings again to get the project completed.