Article - Office of College Advancement

Student center expected to open in 2009

By Angela Woodall, Staff writer.

Thursday, March 15, 2007—Reprinted from Inside Bay Area.

Group digging shovels into the ground.A group of Ohlone College students are given an opportunity to break ground at ceremony for the school's new students services center, at the Fremont, CA campus on March 14, 2007. (Anda Chu/The Fremont Argus). (View large version.)

Fremont—Out with the old and in with the new. That was the order of the day Wednesday when Ohlone College students, administrators and trustees donned hard hats and grabbed shovels to break ground ceremonially on the much-awaited student services center.

The future home of administrative services, records and student counseling is scheduled to open early 2009.

Building No. 7 will be demolished in June to make way for the beige, 45,000-square-foot center.

Students on hand for the ceremony said they welcome the plan because current gathering places are too crowded.

"It will be a place to hang out besides the cafeteria. It will be our own space," said sophomore Patrick Rebosura, a member of the Asian Pacific American Student Association.

The center is the last large-scale project to be funded by the $150 million Measure A bond passed by voters in 2002.

Ohlone College President/Superintendent Dr. Douglas Treadway (right) speaks at a groundbreaking ceremony for the college's new student services center as C.J. Perez, staff interpreter, translates in American Sign Language, at the campus in Fremont, CA, on March 14, 2007. (Anda Chu/The Fremont Argus). (View large version.)

"There won't be anything in the well to go back to in case we need it," Ohlone Trustee Garrett Yee said at a recent board meeting.

The $150 million bond hasn't stretched as far as planners expected. Little more than $800,000 in rainy-day money for unexpected costs related to the project is left.

The original designs for the center were scaled back because construction costs rose drastically after Hurricane Katrina sent steel and building prices through the roof.

And the budget for campus renovations was reduced by $3 million to keep the building plan for the center on track.

The budget has increased four times, but the current $32.8 million budget is enough to cover building costs—at least for now.

Staff writer Angela Woodall covers Newark, Ohlone College and Washington Hospital. She can be reached at (510) 353-7004 or at awoodall@angnewspapers.com.

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