With construction hurdles, GCC officials seek state assistance

Glendale Community College officials are hopeful the state will give them more than $1 million to pay for unexpected costs tied to the school's lab/college services building, which is under construction.

When crews broke ground on the building last fall, they didn't anticipate finding an old drainage system, unstable soil and groundwater as they prepared to construct its foundation, said Ron Nakasone, executive vice president of administrative services.

Although the college has $2.1 million set aside to pay for contingency costs, college trustees have approved spending about $850,000 on change orders due to the additional unexpected costs.

College officials inquired with state officials this week to seek help paying the extra costs.

"This afternoon, we had a long conversation with the state chancellor's office about the additional costs that are getting incurred with the unforeseen conditions," Nakasone told the college trustees on Monday. "At this point, the good news is, they haven't said 'no' yet."

In June, Nakasone said the college plans to give state officials a report on the additional costs incurred, so far. By then, he expects the amount will reach $1.4 million.

One of the first challenges surfaced in October when crews discovered groundwater after drilling about 60 feet below ground.

They also found a drainage system that had been installed in the 1990s, but was not accounted for in the building's design documents.

More complications occurred as crews dealt with unstable soil because the bedrock was located farther below ground than expected.

"The building has to be placed on bedrock and, unfortunately, when they were digging the area, they didn't hit bedrock until [they reached] a much deeper condition," Nakasone said.

If the state kicks in additional funding, he said it would save the college from tapping into additional Measure G funds that go for various facility improvements such as classrooms, plumbing and electrical infrastructure.

The cost to construct the building stands at nearly $40 million, with $33.5 million of that amount funded by the state. Another $5.4 million will be paid for with funds from the college's Measure G, a $98-million bond that was passed by voters in 2002.

The new building will be the largest on campus at three stories and 90,000 square feet.

It will house the school's culinary arts program, classrooms and writing and computer labs.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.


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