New Construction

California Community College Tops Out Brand-New Campus

The Gavilan Joint Community College District recently announced the topping out of Phase 1 of a new campus in Hollister, Calif., according to a news release. Gavilan gathered with representatives from partners Blach Construction, Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA), and Gensler to celebrate the ceremonial placement of the final steel beam in the building’s structure. The news release reports that the project broke ground just months ago, and the still-unnamed San Benito County Campus is proceeding on budget and on schedule.

Phase 1 consists of a 34,000-square-foot single building containing a mix of student resources and education space. Amenities will include “a lobby and welcome center, classrooms, science and computer labs, learning resource and testing centers, a café, community room, gender-neutral restrooms, as well as administrative and support spaces,” the news release reports. The building was also designed to be future-ready for new technology installations, furniture layouts, and space modifications as required.

“We are all pleased with the construction progress thus far and understand the importance of the project for the San Benito County community,” said Brad Fannin, Project Executive at Blach. “The use of design-build has allowed for a lot of very productive collaboration between Gavilan College and the broader construction team. As a result, we’ve been able to respond to newly developed requirements from Gavilan with no compromise to the budget, schedule or overall project expectations.”

The campus is all-electric, will be net-zero-energy ready, and was designed to include space for a future solar instillation. The campus also partnered with nearby home builder Dividend Homes and city officials to install and connect a septic system instead of building a standalone septic system from scratch. Other features include a hardscaped entry plaza, administrative space, and adequate parking.

Funding for the $60-million project comes from Bond Measure X, which county voters passed in 2018. It’s scheduled to open its doors to students in time for the 2025–26 school year.

“This is a historic event for Gavilan College. Not only does it mark the topping out of the first of many buildings to comprise our San Benito Campus, it very clearly cements Gavilan’s commitment to expand higher education offerings in Hollister,” said Serafin Fernandez, Gavilan’s Director of Capital Projects. “We are delighted to be on track to greatly improve access to higher education in Hollister, San Juan Bautista, Tres Pinos and other rural county areas. Most importantly, we are grateful for the support this much-needed project continues to receive, from the designers and construction teams to local residents and businesses, as well as city and county officials.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].