Article - Office of College Advancement

Ohlone revamps Fremont plan

By Matthew Artz, Oakland Tribune.

Saturday, April 17, 2010—Reprinted from Inside Bay Area.

Fremont—Just two years after opening a campus in Newark, Ohlone College has released plans to dramatically redesign its Fremont campus. The proposals call for moving sports fields, building parking garages closer to classrooms and developing land that fronts Mission Boulevard.

The college's recently approved 15-year Fremont Campus Master Plan would serve as a guide for projects as the college considers asking voters to approve a new facilities bond.

The college's board of trustees has until July to put a bond measure on the November ballot, but the college already has commissioned a poll showing 58 percent of district voters would support a $350 million bond. And, college President Gari Browning already has begun talking to community groups about the need for improvements on the Fremont campus.

In June, the board is slated to resume discussions on what to develop along the Mission Boulevard frontage property. Whatever is built there ideally would provide money to maintain campus buildings, Browning said.

The facility plan, prepared by tBP Architecture, states the hillside campus concentrates too many parking spots near Mission Boulevard, forcing students to make a steep uphill climb to classrooms.

It also stated that the campus lacks adequate library, media and science facilities, has many deteriorating buildings, and needs better routes for drivers and pedestrians to get from one side of campus to another.

The proposal calls for developing Mission Boulevard from Witherly Lane to Pine Street, and moving many of the athletic fields behind the new development. A new north-south route would traverse the campus just east of the new sports facilities, and a new parking lot would be built where the baseball field sits.

Farther uphill, the plan envisions a new science building and renovations to the library and several other academic buildings. The plaza between the library and the bookstore would be redesigned as a gathering place complete with a new cafe and cafeteria.

Additional projects would include replacing Building 2 with a new Arts complex and building multilevel garages adjacent to academic buildings.

"We're trying to make it a horizontal path for students as opposed to going up the hill," Browning said.

The bond would be Ohlone's second since 2002, when voters approved $140 million primarily for the Newark campus.

However, it likely wouldn't provide enough funds to fully realize the plan's vision, Browning said. Top priority would be given to replacing Building 8 with a new science building and renovating existing buildings, most of which were built 35 to 40 years ago.

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