Mesa College Breaks Ground on New Parking Structure and Police Substation

San Diego Mesa College this week broke ground on a $29.3 million parking structure and police substation at the campus’ east entrance on Mesa College Drive in Clairemont. On Wednesday, December 5, San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) executives joined Mesa College administrators, students, and distinguished guests to break ground on the structure that will provide much-needed parking to the approximately 22,000 students who annually attend Mesa, one of the largest colleges in the region and the nation.

Funding for the project was made possible through San Diego voter support of the 2002 Proposition S Construction Bond. The new structure will include a 7,000-square-foot police office building and an adjacent five-level parking structure for approximately 1,100 vehicles at 7250 Mesa College Drive. Approximately 50 percent of the parking structure will be positioned within an existing canyon, creating a much lower perceived height from the entrance drive.

Another key element expedites traffic flow into the parking structure by allowing for five entrance points at three levels of the structure. The single-story police facility will incorporate a reception lobby, staff office, conference areas, locker and exercise rooms and other secure areas for campus police.

San Diego-based architect Delawie Wilkes Rodrigues Barker was commissioned by the San Diego Community College District to provide full architectural services for the project. Contractor is Douglas E. Barnhart, Inc. The projected construction time is 14 months, with an estimated completion date of January 2009.

“Today’s event is not just a groundbreaking, but a tilling of the ground,” noted Mesa College President Rita M. Cepeda. “It represents the first seed in what will become a modernized campus for the 21st Century.”

SDCCD Chancellor Constance M. Carroll, who served as president of Mesa College from 1993 to 2005, added that the project enables the college to “make major progress toward student access.”

Brief comments were also made by SDCCD Vice Chancellor of Facilities Management David Umstot; SDCCD Chief of Police Charles Hogquist; Mesa College Academic Senate President Terrie Teegarden; and Avery Ryder, President, Mesa College Associated Students Government. An engraved chrome shovel was presented to President Cepeda, Chancellor Carroll and Trustee Block by Arthur “Tex” Barnhart, CEO, Douglas E. Barnhart, Inc.


Structure to Include Green Technology

Guidelines set by the SDCCD call for all new construction projects to meet the highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification possible. The Parking Structure/Police Substation Project has already achieved Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, but there is a real possibility that it may achieve Gold Certification.

"Green" aspects of the project include:  use of low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints for improved indoor air quality; access to natural light sources for building occupants; renewable and recycled materials for interior finishes; recycled materials used in structural items like concrete and masonry; highly energy efficient HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning), lighting, and hot water distribution systems; and low water use landscape planting materials and highly efficient irrigation systems.

In addition, the Parking Structure design incorporates provisions for a solar panel array on the roof (technically referred to as a photovoltaic system) that will augment the campus' electrical power system and will offset some of the power requirements not only for this project but also for the college’s new Allied Health Building which is next in line for construction.