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Historic Renovation Wins Construction Award

By Alisa Moore
Community Writer
06/07/2015 at 07:46 PM
The San Bernardino Community College District (SBCCD) and San Bernardino Valley College received the Project Management Award for the renovation of the San Bernardino Valley College Auditorium from the Southern California Chapter of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA). The award was presented to the SBCCD Board of Trustees at the May 28 board meeting by Hussain Agah, Senior Campus Manager with Kitchell/BRj, which oversaw the construction project. Chancellor Bruce Baron noted, “The renovation of the Auditorium at San Bernardino Valley College was a complex undertaking of a landmark site and taking into consideration the San Jacinto Fault Zone. Kitchell/BRj was instrumental in the cost-effective, on time, efficient completion of the project. The renewal of this beautiful building resulted in the addition of an elevator tower so the building is now ADA compliant, two outdoor courtyards and the expansion of the restrooms. None of this would have been possible without the support of the community through the Measure M and P bonds. The bonds allow us to maximize our resources as we design a quality learning and working environment for our students and employees.” The second oldest building on the SBVC campus, the Auditorium is an academic, performance and community space. Its historic architecture created construction issues as all historic buildings do; the original construction documentation was unreliable and the project team was continually uncovering unforeseen conditions. Kitchell/BRj was involved in an exhaustive reconnaissance effort, working with numerous municipal and state agencies to ensure work could proceed on time and according to the budget. The project team also had to be especially resourceful in locating and even fabricating materials to fit the specifications of a 76-year-old building. Started in July 2013 and completed in August 2014, the project came in under budget (less than $10 million), and included making the building earthquake-safe. The Auditorium is the closest of any building on campus to the San Jacinto Fault zone. A highly valued historic and visual landmark on campus, demolition and replacement was not an option. Due to the fault and folding zones, the new elevator tower was designed to split from the main building if an earthquake were to occur. In addition, a unique solution was utilized to minimize structural intrusion into the existing building. Fiberglass reinforcing was added to several walls to increase their structural capacity, which meant that no columns had to be added to building, which would have cut space and altered the building’s design. Kitchell was originally tasked with providing Program Management services for the San Bernardino Community College District’s Measure M Bond program. The bond program was passed in 2008 for $500 million, but the SBCCD saw the available bond funds shrink by nearly half in the midst of the economic recession. The SBCCD and Kitchell worked together to eliminate non-essential projects from the Master Plan. Opportunities for the SBCCD to save money and even offset costs were identified so that much needed improvements to the San Bernardino Valley College campus, such as the Auditorium, could be completed.
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