GCC lab completion is postponed

The completion of what will become Glendale Community College’s largest building may be pushed back after crews discovered groundwater while working on the site, delaying construction by more than a month at least, officials said.

In October, crews began work on the school’s lab/college services building, a 90,000-square-foot structure that will house computer, anthropology and writing labs as well as the culinary arts program and additional classrooms.

But as crews drilled roughly 60 feet below ground to build a retaining wall, they discovered groundwater, prompting a delay in construction.

Crews also discovered a drain system that had been installed in the early 1990s that hadn’t been accounted for in the lab building’s design, said Karl Aldridge, the project’s construction manager.

College officials originally planned to open the building to students and staff by November 2015, but that date could be pushed back until the spring semester of 2016.

“It would have been nice because that would have been the start of the year,” said Ron Nakasone, executive vice president of administrative services for the college.

Officials say there are hardly any consequences tied to the delayed opening, except that the culinary arts program currently operating in the cafeteria would remain there for an additional semester.

The nearly $40-million building will be paid for primarily with state construction bonds and about $5.4 million from the college’s Measure G bond.

During a college trustee board meeting Tuesday night, trustees approved spending $183,644 of about $2 million they’d set aside in contingency reserves to address other unforeseen issues that have surfaced since construction began.

Those adjustments include demolishing asphalt at the site and adding new storm-drain piping, but the majority of that amount — $100,000 — was related to pumping out the groundwater from the piles, or holes, drilled to create the shoring wall.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.


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