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Mendocino College Library, SRJC culinary center under way

California Governor Jerry Brown released his proposed 2011-2012 state budget that cuts spending $12.5 billion.

“These cuts will be painful, requiring sacrifice from every sector of the state, but we have no choice,” Gov. Brown said. “For 10 years, we’ve had budget gimmicks and tricks that pushed us deep into debt. We must now return California to fiscal responsibility and get our state on the road to economic recovery and job growth.”

Major spending reductions include $1.7 billion to Medi-Cal, $1.5 billion to California’s welfare-to-work program, $750 million to the Department of Developmental Services, $500 million to the University of California, $500 million to California State University and $400 million from the California Community College system.

The three leaders of California's public systems of higher education, University of California President Mark Yudof, California State University Chancellor Charles Reed and the California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott, released a joint statement in response to the proposed budget:

"It is clear the governor wants to engage Californians in a full and open discussion about what size of government they are willing to support. As leaders of the state's three public higher education systems, we are eager to participate in that conversation. Given the vast demographic shifts underway in California, now is not the time to shrink public higher education, but to grow it. The road to recovery from this recession and prosperity far beyond it runs straight through our many campuses. These universities are the economic engines of California."

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After six months of earthwork, utilities and foundations, steel is being erected at the new Mendocino College Library in Ukiah. Cal Erectors, a subcontractor to Midstate Construction, started putting up the steel beams, columns and decking on Dec. 1.

According to Midstate, the rest of the steel should be erected by mid-January. The completion date of the project is spring of 2012.

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Construction of the Santa Rosa Junior College B. Robert Burdo Culinary Arts Center, named for a longtime member of the board of trustees, is on track. The new building will take the place of the current facilities at the Brickyard Center downtown and at Garcia Hall.

The expectation is that courses will begin in the spring of 2012 in the two-story facility that includes three classrooms, two teaching kitchens, a restaurant, bakery, offices and more.

The $20 million, 22,000-square-foot project was designed by BSA Bull Stockwell Allen Architects in San Francisco. In addition to the Lawrence A. Bertolini Student Services Center and the Don Zumwalt Parking Pavilion at the college, BSA also has designed numerous other projects in the North Bay. The exterior design is reflective of the college’s architectural theme.

The project is being funded by Sonoma County’s $251.7 million Bond Measure A passed in 2002 by voters. The bond has funded the Petaluma campus expansion, the student services center, the Doyle Library and the parking structure.

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California Maritime Academy hired an outside firm to study the viability of opening a satellite campus that would possibly be a polytechnic school.

“This is very much in the exploratory phase,” said Doug Webster, spokesman for the college. “Who knows what will happen, especially now that we know there will be budget cuts statewide.”

He said the study is looking to get a sense of the community as to needs, how it would be useful to business and industry in this community, what the scope would be, what the resources are and what the market is.

“The community is strong in education,” he said. “It is a real education center.”

He said currently there are 850 students enrolled and most live on campus.

“It is a heavily residential campus because we serve the entire state and the Western United States,” he said.

He mentioned downtown Vallejo and Mare Island as possible locations for the school.

“Right now it is entirely preliminary; we need to get the budget and the impact on the state. We expect to get some initial reports back closer to midyear.”

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College of Marin recently completed construction of the main building complex on its Indian Valley Campus.

The building includes a new two-story general purpose building with a spacious entryway and areas for outdoor seating, and it incorporates abundant natural lighting and efficient heating and air circulation systems wholly supported by a new geothermal field.

The building will house a variety of work force development programs in medical and dental assisting, court reporting and computer technology, among others. There will also be a new library and internet cafe.

The use of sustainable building practices is in line with submission for LEED Gold certification. It is the first new building at that campus since the campus opened in fall of 1975.

This is the first entirely new building to be completed as part of College of Marin’s Measure C Bond. The newly renovated Transportation Technology Complex at Indian Valley and the refurbished Diamond Physical Education Center at the Kentfield campus preceded this project.

The architect for the project was VBN Architects in Oakland. The contractor was DiGiorgio Contracting Co. in Novato. The program manager/construction manager was Swinerton Management & Consulting in San Francisco.

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Submit items for this column to Jenna V. Loceff at jloceff@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4259 or fax 707-521-5292.