KENTFIELD – College of Marin will break ground on Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. for its new Science Math Central Plant Complex, located in the southwestern quadrant of the Kentfield upper campus. This facility will also house the nursing program, an IT department and a central power plant that will include advanced geothermal mechanical systems.

[caption id="attachment_14933" align="alignright" width="288" caption="Rendering of the proposed new College of Marin Science Math Central Plant Complex"][/caption]

Demand for basic sciences and chemistry courses has been increasing steadily, and the college administration believed that combining these programs and departments – such as nursing – that require such courses would be beneficial for students and faculty members alike.

The 70,000-square-foot structure will be the largest green construction project on campus. The budget for this new center is $52.2 million, which is part of the $249.5 million Measure C bond passed in 2004.  The college said that so far construction-related bids for this project are coming in under budget.

“We are all very excited about this project aimed at providing students and the community work force with a new state-of-the-art education and training facility,” said Frances White, Ph.D., superintendent and president.  “We are very thankful for the community’s support of the 2004 bond measure that is now making the improvements to College of Marin possible.”

The former science building was constructed in a flood plain isolated from the rest of the campus and has structural issues that rendered it not cost effective to modernize. This building will be demolished.

The new facility, built on higher ground, is designed to blend with the college landscape. The highest elevation will be toward the inner campus rather than on Laurel Street. The complex will house classrooms, labs and meeting spaces as well as staff and faculty offices.  There will also be a telescope pad on the roof of this three-story, conservation-oriented, T-shaped structure.

Additional energy-saving and greater safety features include improved ventilation, fume hoods, ergonomic furniture, improved adjacencies for science programs, enhanced accessibility for disabled students, elevator access and special outdoor teaching spaces.

A partial green living plants sustainable roof will cover portions of the building. The college is also applying for Silver- or Gold-level LEED certification based on its use of water-efficient landscaping, water use reduction from low-flow and waterless fixtures, low emitting materials (carpets, paints and coatings) and controllable lighting, along with day lighting and views.

The Science Math Central Plant Complex will utilize recycled building content, regional building materials, Forest Stewardship Council certified wood products and solar thermal panels.

The College of Marin Board of Trustees passed a resolution in July 2004 adopting green-building principles that govern all construction at the college. Since 2007, the college has begun or completed four other projects, including the Diamond Physical Education Complex, the Indian Valley Campus (IVC) Main Building, the IVC Transportation Technology Complex and, most recently, the Fine Arts Building.

For more information, contact Cathy Summa-Wolfe at 415-485-9528 or