Admin Building nearing completion

Above is an artist rendering of the completed administration building. The projected completion date for construction is set for June and the building will be open for students and faculty by fall semester 2014. (Courtesy of R2A Construction)

To put this capitol project into perspective, the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building and the U.S. Bank Building in downtown Los Angeles all took less time to complete than the current remodel of the Citrus College Administration Building.

Originally slated for completion in April of 2013, the Administration Building renovation was launched in 2010 to repurpose the space for improved efficiency.

So what took so long?

“The major obstacle was dealing with the original contractor going bankrupt and having to work with the surety company in securing a completion contractor,” said Fred Diamond, Citrus College director of facilities and construction.

The surety company essentially serves as the “insurance company” that insures the bankrupt contractor’s work. The surety process alone took nearly six months to complete, Diamond explained.

“Other obstacles included having to reorder materials from vendors that were not paid by the original contractors,” Diamond said.

Now, after nearly four years of renovations, the Administration Building is set for completion in June at no additional cost to taxpayers, Diamond said.

The original cost of the renovation was set at $4.697 million and the new adjusted cost is $4.75 million, according to Diamond.

“The good news is when the contractor wasn’t working and everything was on hold, the dollars weren’t getting paid out either,” said Claudette Dain, Citrus College vice president of finance and administrative service.

“It’s not a funding issue or a financial issue for Citrus College that put the project on hold.”

The new Administration Building will house the president’s office, administrative services, the Foundation, human resources, finance, the mailroom, risk management and accounting.

The college must also install new fixtures and furnish the renovated building. Doing so will cost approximately $400,000 according to Robert Iverson director of purchasing and warehouse.

The Administration Building is being remodeled from a circa 1960s design.

According to Diamond, it will be robust with technology, a state-of-the-art board room, fresh colors and finishes, an additional elevator, increased space, low-emissive dual glazed SOLARBAN window systems (treated with an invisible metal or metallic oxide coating, creating a surface that reflects heat, while allowing light to pass through), energy efficient lighting and a host of other updated features.

Diamond described the changes as “overwhelming,” adding the building will be energy efficient, comfortable and a point of campus pride.

The Administration Building remodel is just one of several projects funded by Measure G, which was passed by local voters in March 2004. It authorized the sale of $121 million in bonds to upgrade campus facilities.

With the Administration Building nearing completion, Citrus College’s Measure G Bond Citizens Oversight Committee will now turn their focus to renovations of the Campus Center, the Educational Development Building and Hayden Hall, as well as the construction of a Fine Arts Building.

An issuance of a fourth set of bonds through Measure G to fund these projects is under consideration by the board of trustees.

The Fine Arts Building has been approved by the Division of State Architect, with a time limit of mid-2014 for the start of the project.

Failure to begin construction by August will cost additional time and money because the planning process will virtually have to be restarted.

“If we do not do this next bond issuance, Series D, as we’re proposing, then we do not have the dollars for the Fine Arts Building,” Dain said.

The Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet March 18 at 4:15 p.m. in the Center for Innovation Community Room 159 to consider taking action on this issue. The meeting is open to the public.


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