Lot 5 closed for construction of new Science Building at Saddleback College

Lot 5 under construction for a new science building scheduled to open October 2015. (Shirley Smith )

Michael Grennell

After several years of planning, construction will finally begin this week on the new sciences building at Saddleback College.

The sciences building will be built on part of what is now Parking Lot 5, located behind the Student Services Center. Beginning on Nov. 9, Parking Lot 5 will be completely closed off for two years during construction of the building, but Parking Lot 5A is expected to remain open and unaffected.

The closure of Parking Lot 5 will result in the loss of 270 parking spaces. According to the plans, the sciences building will cause the permanent loss of around 70 spaces, while the rest of the spaces should reopen at the completion of construction.

At the South Orange County Community College Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 28, Executive Director of Facilities Planning/Purchasing/Materials Management Brandye D’Lena gave a presentation on the progression of the construction and budget for the project. During her presentation, Student Trustee David Robinson asked D’Lena about the loss of parking spaces that would result from the construction.

“We’ve had lengthy conversations around (the loss of parking),” D’Lena said. “We’re talking about putting some parking in ‘The Bowl.'”

“The Bowl” is a nickname that refers to the grassy depression located between the Health Science and Business and General Studies buildings. D’Lena said that “The Bowl” would be able to handle around 110 parking spaces.

According to a press release from the school, the temporary parking in “The Bowl” would be available beginning in Spring 2014.

Despite the temporary parking that would be available, students may still see an impact when trying to find parking in the mornings as there will be roughly 160 spots that will not be replaced by temporary parking.

“I’m mad, because that’s where I’ve parked for the last two years,” Lexi Saba, an 18-year-old business major, said.

Jessica Morton, a 19-year-old child development major, also said she was upset about the lot closure, saying that she usually parked in Lot 5, and would now have to find parking further away.

According to the September Facilities Plan Status Report, the budget for the sciences building project is almost $60 million, and is expected to be completed in Oct. 2015. 

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