At the beginning of the Fall 2005 semester, Yuba College students saw the first phase of the 800 building’s three-phase $8.3 million facelift. They also heard it.
By mid-October jackhammers, hammering and sawing started to irritate the already hassled faculty and students who had to work and study in or near the 800 building. The noise became so loud that some professors resorted to using a p.a. system to lecture over the noise.
“I know that the college needs the work,” said a student watching the workers in their bright orange and green jackets finish their tasks. “But the noise really interferes with my studies.”
Earlier students saw moving trucks take away equipment so it could be stored safely until later this year. Then they saw the fences come in and cut off easy access to the 800 building, annoying students who were already late to class. By November, students could not only see and hear the construction, but they smelt it as well by way of hot potent tar that was used to cover the roof.
“All the construction is in the way,” said one student. “You need to maneuver around all the rubble to get anywhere.”
However, other students are more optimistic about the remodel. “I think it’s nice they are finally renovating some areas on campus,” said Yuba sophomore Leanne Mendoza.Faculty member, Bettye-Ann Stephens, sees other benefits as well. “I enjoy having my new neighbors here (in the 1300 building) from the Math and Science department,” she said.
Most of the 800 building’s scheduled classes and its offices were moved in order to prepare for the restoration. Some faculty, whose offices were moved due to the remodel, had to leave long explanations on their voice mail to direct students in contacting them.The northern and eastern sides of the building are being remodeled first in time for next semester, and during winter break construction on either the southern or western section will begin.
Of the money allocated to the project, $1 million will go towards the purchase of moveable equipment such as computers, tables and chairs for the classrooms. An asbestos problem will also be abated.
The asbestos is evident, but sealed off to students to protect their health and well-being. Science laboratories will have adjoining prep rooms to avoid the wheeling of chemicals, liquids and hazardous equipment around the campus.
The 800 building was also designed to include space for future updates such as the use of fiber optics. Currently, emergency showers are located in the science classrooms and labs, but no drains are available. This could have resulted in the flooding of classrooms in an emergency had the remodel not been authorized.