Community College Upgrades

Voter-Approved Bond Supports New Construction

San Bernardino Community College District’s (SBCCD) campuses welcomed new facilities last summer, made possible by funding from the $197 million Measure P Bond Program passed in November 2002.

An $8 million Aquatic Center opens at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, while the $12.2 million Media/Communications Building opens nearby at San Bernardino Valley College. Kitchell, together with BRJ & Associates, is providing program management services for the bond program. The Aquatic Center features a 50-meter competition pool heated by solar panels. The LEED®-certified Aquatic Center also includes lockers, showers, offices, storage, a multipurpose room, pool mechanical room and related space and bleachers. Site development includes a parking lot, landscaping and building access.

Shared facilities

The City of Yucaipa purchased the Myrtha pool, a pre-fabricated system manufactured in Italy, and provided it to SBCCD for use in the project. The facility will be shared by Crafton Hills College and the local community. This specific Myrtha pool was previously installed and used for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Long Beach, Calif. Before the Beijing Olympics, it held the title of the World’s Fastest Pool. After trials, the pool was dismantled and shipped to Yucaipa where it sat outside until construction began on the Aquatic Center.

During the design phase, Kitchell/BRJ recommended that SBCCD hire a pool consultant to do a detailed inventory of the pool’s components. Parts that were identified as missing or damaged had to be ordered from Italy. But because this scenario was anticipated before installation began, parts were ordered early enough to keep the project on schedule.

Cost savings

The Myrtha pool was designed for installation in an area with undocumented artificial fill. Due to the drainage details, the allowable settlement of tolerances was only 1/8 inch over the pool’s entire length. To ensure the tolerances were achieved, the original design featured deepened foundations that added more than 200 drilled piers beneath the pool. This design was expensive and could have put the entire project over budget. However, Kitchell/BRJ recommended an alternative design that met settlement tolerances and saved more than $750,000 by eliminating the piers, removing the undocumented fill and replacing it with engineered fill.

Tallest structure

The new 18,253-square-foot Media/Communications Building at Valley College features a 200-foot communications tower for radio and television broadcasts. With more than 260 tons of steel, the tower will be the tallest structure on campus.

Structural improvements

Completed under budget and on schedule, the one-story steel-frame building replaces an older building that was located on an active fault. Structurally safer, the new building is built away from the fault line and houses classrooms, computer labs, offices and features a broadcast teaching component that includes working television and radio studios and production stages. It also features projectors and computers that support teleconference calls and distance learning. The audio-visual studio was designed in a hexagonal shape to maintain acoustical requirements and prevent sound from bouncing. Perhaps the biggest challenge was relocating the radio station while maintaining 24-hour station while maintaining 24-hour service.