As Gov. Gavin Newsom prepares to sign the 2019-20 California state budget, students, faculty, and staff at Pasadena City College are already feeling the effects of the fiscal agreement.
Included in the $215 billion proposal submitted by the Legislature is a $42 million appropriation for PCC’s Armen Sarafian Building. The funds will go toward the demolition and reconstruction of the science building, which was determined to be an earthquake hazard in 2012 and has sat empty since then.
“No matter how you look at it, this is a win for PCC,” said Superintendent-President Erika Endrijonas, Ph.D. “Our plans are in place, we’ve done our due diligence with the state and the Chancellor’s Office, and our community wants to get this building online. Our students, faculty, and staff deserve to have a building that meets their needs. We’re ready to get to work.”
As a priority project on the Life and Safety category of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) facilities list, the Sarafian Building is set to receive 80% of its funding from proceeds from Proposition 51, which California voters approved in 2016. State dollars have already funded preliminary planning and engineering documents, and the college’s architect is completing working drawings this summer.
The $42 million appropriation from the state will fund the majority of construction costs – an allocation that was necessary to the viability of the project.
“We are so pleased that the state has stepped up for our college,” said Linda Wah, a member of PCC’s Board of Trustees and president of the statewide California Community College Trustees organiztion. “This would not have been possible without the support of our elected representatives in the California Legislature. Senator Anthony Portantino and Assemblymember Chris Holden were instrumental in securing this funding for PCC, and U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff spoke up for us as well. Assemblymember Ed Chau and former senator Carol Liu also stepped up for us. I particularly want to recognize the work done by Jack Scott, himself a former PCC president, California Community College chancellor, and state senator. We are so grateful for everyone’s support in this effort.”
With demolition expected to begin as early as this fall, the college is prepared to operate under an accelerated timeline on the facilities project. Students could enroll in classes in the new building as early as the Summer of 2022.
“PCC is an exciting place, and this building will build on that momentum,” said PCC Board President Anthony R. Fellow, Ph.D.. “Our region relies on a constant supply of smart, capable college graduates to meet its labor needs.
“This investment in the college will pay off for everyone in our region,” he said.
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