Letter to the Editor

Friday, April 24

Good morning [Jibsheet],

In the April 14, 2009 Jibsheet, William Scott, guest contributor, indicated that “Building C” is the only building on campus that has not been renovated.

Unfortunately this is not an accurate statement.

It is true that the building has not been completely renovated, but the building has been increased in size and has gone through space upgrades as programs have changed.

When the C-building was originally constructed it was home to the Art department, a Welding program headed by Jack Uchida and a Diving program headed by Spence Campbell.

Over the years as educational needs changed the facility also provided space for a destructive testing program for the building industry, the Interior Design program, a small engine repair program, DECCA, the Academic Tutoring Center, Botany – when the parking garage was built and the greenhouse was relocate to a parcel of ground west of the building and is now in one of the program areas that moved to the Science and Technology building.

Other spaces and buildings that have not been renovated include “Building E” – The Carlson Theatre; “Building G”- Gymnasium and the “Building B” – all the spaces vacated by the science division which were part of the primary construction of the college and are in their original design and layout. Some of these have had minor improvements as has building-C.

During the 40 plus years of the college’s existence many of the buildings have been added onto and/or have had spaces within the building envelop updated and minor renovations completed.

For instance the wood shop in Building – C was originally in a small section of room C154. When the diving program was phased out the welding program expanded, then when it was phased out the area was broken into a woodshop and classrooms of various types including Interior Design.

The last minor renovation was completed in 2007 when the Academic Tutoring Center was moved into Building D and the wood shop was expanded to meet the expanding needs of the art department and interior design.

Every two years the college participates in a “Facilities Condition Survey”.

This survey is conducted by an independent contractor hired by state to evaluate the condition of all 34 community and technical colleges.

In this survey they look at the age of the buildings, condition, repair and preventative maintenance conducted by the physical plant departments in caring for the facilities and use this information to rate each project submitted in a rating chart for allocation of funds for building remodels and repairs.

This is where “Catch-22” applies.

We in physical plant are expected by the state to maintain our buildings in good repair, so we at Bellevue had a serious roof leak problem in Building-C, (roof integrity takes a higher priority) and we received the funds to repair the roof.

The roof was repaired and as a result of other maintenance performed in the building the overall condition of Building-C is at a level that the rating our request for renovation monies received was too low to obtain funding for the renovation.

So by repairing the roof of Building -C, we improved the buildings overall condition to point where it did not receive a high enough deterioration rating as compared to the conditions at some of the other 33 community and technical colleges.

The bottom line is if you let your building fall apart you stand a better chance of receiving renovation monies.

If you maintain them you stand a lower chance of receiving renovation funds.

Replacing the roof on Building-C is why we did not receive a deterioration rating high enough for renovation. “Catch-22” applies.

Laurel LaFever
Campus Operation Director
Bellevue College