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Community college building boom provides subcontracting opportunities

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San Diego Community College District is working to include small businesses in its nearly $1.6 billion construction bond initiative created by Propositions S (2002) and N (2006).

The district plans to build dozens of facilities and renovate older ones on its three main campuses, City College, Mesa College and Miramar College.

A number of projects also are planned for the district’s smaller satellite campuses, district officials said Wednesday, during a presentation at the Centre City Development Corp.'s "Sub For Subs" 2010 business outreach event.

Many of the projects are currently under way, while others will go to bid in the near future.

Many of the projects present opportunities for companies that offer specialized products, said Ursula Kroemer, communications director for the Prop S and N construction bond program.

The district is incorporating green building standards in new projects, with a goal of achieving a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating or better on each project, from the U.S. Green Building Council. The LEED designation requires use of green building materials.

Many of the classroom projects also require special equipment.

The district completed a nearly $29 million Allied Health & Education Training Facility, which included medical equipment such as dental chairs.

Other special equipment needs include food service, science laboratory, music recording and photography.

Miramar College also will purchase new equipment for its automotive and aviation repair training programs, which are among the largest in the region, Kroemer said.

In all, the district plans to spend more than $70 million to furnish its buildings and install specialty equipment, Kroemer said.

The initiative provides ample opportunity for small furniture and equipment suppliers in the region.

The district can make direct purchases of less than $15,000 without soliciting bids, and prefers to do so from small businesses, Kroemer said.

However, the best way for small businesses to get involved in projects constructed by the district is to get to know the “big boys” -- general contractors who have been awarded the projects.

The district is encouraging small businesses to attend pre-bid workshops where they will have the opportunity to meet prime contractors.

Among the largest projects are a $58 million Arts & Humanities building at City College. Construction of the 70,000-square-foot facility is expected to begin in fall and be complete in 2012.

Turner Construction was named construction manager and Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects designed the facility. Multiple trade packages will be released in late summer, Kroemer said.

Also planned for City College, is a 72,000-square-foot Math and Social Sciences building.

The $83.5 million project will include classrooms and laboratories, a family health center and six-story parking structure.

The design-build project is being managed by Sundt Construction Inc. and Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects.

A $54.8 million science building project managed by Rudolph & Sletten, is scheduled to begin in May 2011.

A $117 million, 200,000-square-foot math and science building at Mesa College is expected to break ground in February.

McCarthy will serve as the construction manager and will offer subcontracting opportunities for many trades.

Barnhart Balfour Beatty also recently began construction of a $50.7 million classroom building and parking structure at the North City Campus.

Miramar College has already begun construction of several projects.

Currently, the largest opportunities at that campus are available to suppliers of specialized equipment for its automotive, aviation and music recording labs, Kroemer said.

One of the most interesting projects the district plans to undertake is a $13.8 million police center and parking structure at Miramar College, Kroemer said.

McCarthy Construction and NTD Architecture are leading the project, which is expected to achieve LEED Platinum by incorporating solar arrays and a green roof.

The district also plans to release several small, specialized projects, including storm drain upgrades, mechanical systems and telecommunications improvements.

For additional information on Prop S and N projects, visit the district’s construction bond program website, at sdccdprops-n.com.


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