More than a year after construction was set to begin, plans for PCC’s Center for the Arts building are still awaiting approval from the Division of the State Architect, according to PCC officials. “I am extremely frustrated by the DSA delays” said Richard van Pelt, interim vice president of administrative services.
Having already received structural, safety and accessibility approvals, construction of the Center for the Arts will remain stalled until the DSA grants final approval, according to van Pelt.
After approval from the DSA, PCC will begin the process of construction. This includes advertising for bids from contractors for two weeks, a month of actual bidding, cross checking the winning bidder’s references, receiving approval from the Board of trustees and, lastly, demolishing the T and K buildings, according to van Pelt.
The 69,000 square-foot Center for the Arts will house the Visual Arts & Media Studies and Performing/Communication Arts divisions. In addition to classroom space, the Center for the Arts will contain a 230-seat recital hall, art gallery and the Black Box theater – complete with box office and marquee.
Classes once held in buildings T and K have been displaced to other parts of the campus to accommodate the Center’s construction.
“We’re doing OK in our temporary spaces” said James Arnwine, Dean of the Performing/ Communication arts division. “It’s been a much slower process than it has been in the past.”
A mini-grant has allowed for some performance arts classes to retrofit their temporary classrooms with soundproofing material and headphone-ready electronic drum sets, according to Arnwine.
Construction of the Center for the Arts is slated to begin in September provided the DSA grants final approval to the project. PCC officials expect the construction take 2 years to complete.
The Center for the Arts as well as several other construction and refurbishment projects around campus are funded by Measure P, a $150 million bond passed in 2002 by the Pasadena Area Community College District.