After two years of not knowing what to do with it, the college has finally received funding from the state to replace the U Building, but has yet to decide if it will be demolished, according to acting Superintendent-President Robert Miller.
“The answer to if we have funding is yes and no,” Miller said.
Once the college receives the money they then have to decide how to spend it. The money from the state, which is roughly estimated to be $3.5 million, is being considered for either hiring a demolition crew, architects, or a hazardous waste company to get rid of the asbestos that is inside the U building, according to Miller.
Miller also said that the final project plan for the U building (a building that’s estimated to have cost $54.5 million) was submitted and approved by the state.
“If there’s a 6.5 earthquake or higher then the U building would pancake,” Miller said. “This means it’s very high on the state’s list. [It’s] probably in the top ten.”
The U building was evacuated in 2012 after three separate engineers confirmed that it was unsafe due to the building’s inability to last under significant seismic activity and the asbestos in the walls. Classes were moved to the Science Village.
William Foster, theater arts instructor and member of the Faculty Association, said that getting funding is a start to moving towards demolishing U building.
“It’s starting to move towards it’s [demolition],” Foster said “Either way, they have got to get the asbestos out.”
When the U Building was first closed down, there was not a lot of planning done and a lot of money was spent building the new Science Village, where many of the classes that once took place in the U Building were moved to, according to Foster.
“The general feeling among the faculty is that even the new Science Village is a step up from the U Building because it has new labs,” Foster said.
According to both Foster and Miller, the asbestos would take a significant amount of time to remove but that in the meantime, it shouldn’t harm students attending the college.
“I anticipate we will have many recommendations regarding what to do with U building,” Miller said.
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