Building 22 in limbo

“The Governor did not include our project in her budget; however, the legislature can and may overrule the Governor and include it in the final state budget,” said Penny Koal, dean of capital facilities.

“I’m surprised that Governor Gregoire didn’t put the renovation into her budget since [according to the 2010 Washington State of State Address] she said ‘As we all know, building a bright economic future also starts with providing our children a first-class education,’” Kaycee, an SPSCC student said.

“In 2007 and 2009 we had received funding to design a brand new library and learning resource center as well as renovate building 22,” said Koal.

It became obvious to those involved in the planning that the library needed to be placed at a central point on campus as well.

“The library will move into building 22 where automotive used to be,” said Koal.

Some students would welcome a change to the library facilities.

“I’m really glad the library is getting fixed up.  I can hardly focus when studying in such a small, crowded area,” Sam, an SPSCC student, said.

Once moved to building 22, the old library building will be used for classrooms and offices, according to Koal.

The Campus Center Reinventing project came to be by merging the two needs of renewing building 22 and centralizing the library.  The new plans resulted in building’s 16 and 23, the automotive/welding building and central services building, according to Koal.

Due to the new automotive/welding and central services buildings, two thirds of building 22 is already empty.  According to Koal, the current tenants will be moved to temporary spaces and then returned to the completed building, should the renovation be approved.

“Renovating Building 22 to bring the library up to current state of the art standards and centralize student services as well as eLearning is the third phase of the project,” said Koal.

Once the building is renovated it will serve primarily student functions.  The building will contain the library, student services, eLearning, and media services.

“It’ll be a real center of campus,” said Koal.

One student, who offered only his first name, Buddy, is displeased by the Governor’s decision.

“I’m not surprised the Governor didn’t include the renovation of the building in her budget.  It doesn’t seem [that] the motivation behind construction is the student’s education since classes aren’t being put in there. Why should hardworking citizens’ tax dollars be put towards the school for anything other than education?” Buddy said.

Koal said “Building 22 is old, tired, and out of date.  The building itself is over 30 years old, it’s had a lot of renovations and it doesn’t function well the way it is.”

The process has been in the works for a while. “Six years ago a request was sent to renovate building 22 due to problems with air quality, insufficient power, and a need to modernize the building” said Koal.

Everything is ready to go for the project, except the money. “We have completed the design phase of the project and are ready to start construction as of now, but we are pending additional funding for construction,” Koal said.

In anticipation of the final budget, “we continue to be very hopeful that the legislature will act in our favor,” Koal said.

But the legislature isn’t the only option SPSCC has.  According to Koal, the supplemental budget or the next biennium legislative session could be waited upon, although that wouldn’t occur until 2012 or 2013.

“We can also take out a mortgage, so to speak, in the form of a certificate of participation which would require Board of Trustee action as well as approval from the legislature,” Koal said.

Even though there are alternatives, beginning as soon as possible may be best.

“Once we get under construction, we estimate approximately 17 to 18 months to finish,” Koal said.