BGS reopens after two-year renovation

Janelle Green and MaryAnne Shults

The Business and General Studies Building at Saddleback College re-opened in time for fall classes after 18 months of renovation.

The estimated $8 million for renovations included replacing all of the windows, interior drainage system, floors and ceilings.

The BGS building, now fully equipped with furnished classrooms, a student lounge, wireless access for computers and other modern alterations, was closed Jan. 8, 2007 due to excessive water damage.

Bainbridge Environmental Consultants, Inc. was hired in October 2005 to fix the issue on how water was leaking into the building, causing buildup of potentially threatening mold. The company quickly discovered that during the original construction of the building, the windows were improperly installed.

Though it wasn’t unusual for mold to grow in a 19 year old building, teachers and staff were worried for their health and that of their students. The decision to fix the problem was declared imperative.

The estimated $8 million for renovations included replacing all of the windows, interior drainage system, floors and ceilings.

Though most teachers and staff were well informed about the reason for closing the building, lack of communication throughout the campus caused students like Jared Modd, 26, business, to be confused.

“I was told that there was a really bad rat problem,” Modd said. “My friend said that when they went to terminate them, poison got in the air vents and the place couldn’t be used anymore. But now that I think about it, that doesn’t sound very legitimate.”

It was decided that the BGS classes would temporarily be moved to modular buildings in The Learning Village, located on lower campus, during the reconstruction. Though the moving process didn’t bother some students, others couldn’t hold their tongue about the hassle.

“The Village is so out of the way,” Des Martin, 21, undecided said. “It’s such a pain to walk from the SSC building to The Village, especially when my class was originally right next door in the BGS building.”

The excitement about the reopening is causing a hold up in the BGS halls.

“Everyone in there is like cattle,” James Johnson, 19, music said. “My English class is in that building somewhere, but it’s impossible for me to find it because of the huge crowd of people.”

Whether or not the building’s occupancy level will decrease later in the year is not yet assured.

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