The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Big Changes are coming soon to DVC quad

When the cafeteria, DVC’s second permanent building on the Pleasant Hill campus, was completed back in 1957, its elaborate dedication ceremony made the front page of the student newspaper then called the Viking Reporter. 

Fifty-four years later, both the cafeteria and the oldest building on campus — the student services center — are up for demolition as the Diablo Valley College Commons Project gets under way. The project is scheduled to start on May 30 and be completed on Nov. 10, 2014.

The project has gone under the radar for most students.”I don’t think many students are aware,” said Sean French, psychology major. 

When it’s done, a new cafeteria and student services building will occupy the current quad while a new commons area featuring an informal stage will be created from the space that occupies the current cafeteria. The front steps of the campus will lead directly to the commons area and duck pond.


“I hope the new quad looks good; we need something more modern,” said Milton Rojas, software engineering major.


The buildings will also have the ability to capture water runoff that is treated in storm water gardens, and re-used for plumbing.


This project is expected to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating.

The project is going to cost from $30-$50 million, according to Guy Grace, the DVC facilities manager.


The entire cost of the project will not be known until the bidding process, which opens April 20th, is finished.  Grace says that right now a lot of companies are desperate for work, so bids are expected to be cheap.  


Colleges primarily use bonds to fund these kinds of projects.  In 2006, Contra Costa County voters approved Bond Measure A to fund this project, before the budget crisis existed.


According to Grace, project manager David Lennahan has done as thorough job as possible to include everyone in the process. The buildings and grounds department had input for technical reasons as well as the faculty and staff.


This project has been brought up to the Associated Students of Diablo Valley College in the past for their input, but it has not been an issue for this year’s board.


“I believe that if the students show active interest and go through the right channels, that there will be a provision for student involvement,” said Grace.


Due to public concern about potential noise disruption during construction, private contractors tested the decibels with a jackhammer and leaf blowers to see how much disturbance would be created.


The results proved that the decibel level was not sufficient to cause disturbance to the nearby classrooms. The design team along with buildings and grounds have considered the possibility of construction damaging sewage and electrical lines, but since most of the utilities around the site are old and underground there is still “bound to be surprises.”


According to the Feb. 28 schedule, demolition of the student services building won’t occur until Sept. 27 of next year.


According to Grace, the builder will fence off the entire area for safety. They will start constructing the new buildings before demolishing the old ones to maintain the building’s functions on campus. The first step will be the removal of toxic materials such as asbestos from the old buildings, then they’ll use a wrecking ball or a CAT to take them down. For dust control, they will use a fire hose.


Grace brought up the importance of having fully functioning facilities as a factor when investing in education.  


“This is going to redefine the future of the college,” said Grace. “They are not classrooms, but they are a huge part of the student’s education because the societies that are going to succeed are the ones that continue educating and investing in their populace.”


News editor Mike Alfieri contributed to this article.

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About the Contributor
Brian Donovan
Brian Donovan, Editor-in-chief
Editor-in-chief, spring 2012. Staff member, spring and fall 2011.

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Big Changes are coming soon to DVC quad