Santa Monica College construction (photo by Brandon Wise)

PICO BOULEVARD — The future of Santa Monica College holds a lot of construction and a series of brand new educational facilities when the dust clears.

The community college is in the process of updating an 11-year-old development plan to account for roughly a dozen projects that will take place at three campuses — Main, Performing Arts and Academy of Entertainment & Technology — over the next seven years, replacing aging structures and creating what officials believe will be an optimal learning environment for students.

SMC officials on Wednesday held the first of three community workshops on the update of the Career and Educational Facilities Master Plan, which the Board of Trustees approved in 1998, guiding several major projects including the expansion of the campus library, the recently completed quad, the new liberal arts and sciences buildings and the consolidated Student Services Center, which is currently under construction. There were less than half a dozen residents at the meeting.

Meetings will also be held on Oct. 7 at the Academy of Entertainment & Technology Campus and on Oct. 14 at the Business Building on the Main Campus, the latter of which will be a scoping session focusing on possible environmental impacts of future projects.

The community workshops come nearly a year after voters approved Measure AA, which will bring in $295 million through property taxes to pay for a series of construction projects that will be identified in the updated master plan. The measure was heavily opposed by residents of Sunset Park, the neighborhood in which the college is located.

The projects will be paid through AA and preceding bond measures, including U and S, which were approved in 2002 and 2004, respectively.

“The objective is to supplement the educational mission of the college,” said Marty Borko, the principal of Gensler, an architectural design firm hired by the college.

The list of proposed projects for the Main Campus include the modernization of Drescher Hall, replacement of the Math & Sciences Building Extension, the beautification of the Pico Boulevard frontage, a new physical education complex and the replacement of Corsair Stadium.

“It looks like we’re going to have to build a new stadium from the ground up,” Greg Brown, the director of facilities planning for the college, said. “It’s hard to retrofit the current stadium and bring it up to current code and current accessibility.”

The Academy of Entertainment & Technology will see an addition to the existing lone building on campus, a new separate home for public radio station KCRW and the construction of a seven-level parking garage that includes two underground levels.

The Performing Arts Campus is slated for a new educational facility on the Santa Monica Boulevard side, an expansion of the west wing and a seismic renovation.

The first project set to undergo construction under the proposed list is the expansion of the Academy of Entertainment and Technology Campus, scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2010. The bulk of the projects will begin between 2011-13 with another wave slated for 2016.

“If a master plan could live a life of 10 years and provide guidance and direction for a 10-year-period, that’s a good life,” Borko said. “The college has done a good job in that 10-year period.”

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