Consulting firm hired to assist with Saddleback’s master plan

Architectural firm ggkworks will work with Saddleback to help determine future facility needs for the campus. (Courtesy of Saddleback College)

Julie Tran

Saddleback College will be going under extensive renovations throughout the campus regarding facility projects.

The Education and Facilities Master Plan (EFMP) is used to prioritize, update, and fund numerous construction projects all around Saddleback.

Every community college in California is required to submit a new master plan every five years, according to the state’s Chancellor office. Another purpose of the EFMP is to have everyone in the college examine the oncoming student services and campus operations in the future.

The company responsible for the overseeing of Saddleback’s EFMP is called ggkworks. They are a consulting firm based in Irvine that specializes with architectural and educational planning and the South Orange County Community College District  retained their services to create a brand new master plan for the college.

Ggkworks will also be responsible for surveying the Saddleback campus in order to see what aspects of the campus are mandated to be present in the college. They will look into how much space will be available for construction should new buildings be required for construction.

Gretchen Bender, director of planning, research, and grants, said that the EFMP will “look into entire facilities and conditions of buildings as well as oversee if new buildings needed to be formed for the student population.”

In addition, the Saddleback EFMP will be surveying the amount of land distribution necessary for certain facilities to be formed.

The previous EFMP was issued in 2005-2006 and Saddleback College had the choice of either revising the plan or creating an entire new plan in order. According to Bender, Saddleback will be creating a brand new plan that will start in 2011 and last up until the year of 2016.

One of the purposes of the EFMP is to distribute and prioritize budgets for certain projects and renovations in the campus. Although ggkworks and Saddleback College will be doing a broad inspection of the campus, there are some changes needed in the school.

Tony Lipold, dean and athletic director of physical education/kinesiology listed numerous problems regarding the conditions of the athletic facilities.

There is a significant lack of restrooms around the football fields, soccer fields, and the softball fields, Lipold said. In order for an athlete to use the restrooms, he or she has to leave the fields and walk at least 400 yards to the gym’s restrooms or use the restrooms in the locker rooms. In addition, the existing restrooms in the P.E. facilities are inadequate to the athletes’ needs due to shoddy doors and small amounts of restrooms overall, he said.

Games at Saddleback College can be an issue to both spectators and the athletes since there is a lack of seating for both home spectators and visitors alike.

In spite of these issues, Lipold said, “We’re lucky to have such good students and coaches to overcome these difficulties.”

Despite the fact that Saddleback’s Education and Facilities Master Plan will be issued out in 2011, there is some prospect of hope present.

Bender wishes that the EFMP would have everyone thinking in terms of colleges providing better resources for the students. Not only will the EFMP create a better environment for students to learn in, but also it can aid into creating a safer place for people to attend to.

For more information regarding the Education and Facilities Master Plan, check out the EFMP website at

There is a lack of restrooms near the athletic fields. (Sean Lara)