Saturday, August 29, 2009

SBCC puts new Media Arts building on hold : State budget woes blamed; $50 million project was due to break ground in 2010


August 29, 2009 7:50 AM

California's budget crisis struck again this week, as Santa Barbara City College announced Friday that it will postpone the construction of a new $50 million School of Media Arts on its main campus.

It had been expected that construction on the 65,000 square-foot building, intended to bring together programs including journalism, photography, graphic design and film and television production, would be underway in 2010.

Because of the state's inability to provide funding for approved construction projects, the decision was made to indefinitely delay the groundbreaking.

The state, which had initially committed $32 million toward the media arts building, reduced its commitment to $22 million, but without a guarantee of a time for the arrival of those funds.

Although voters in June 2008 passed Measure V, which provided the college with $77 million, only $9.3 million was designated to the media arts facility.

In light of the state's reduction in committed funding and a lack of a target date for the provision of funds, the only way to go ahead with the project would be to obtain $28 million of Measure V's $77 million.

The decision was made to postpone the building's construction, as improving existing campus infrastructure is a more pressing priority.

Improvement projects include a remodel of the drama and music building, construction of the new Luria Conference and Press Center overlooking La Playa Stadium and repair and upgrade to the Pedestrian Bridge between the East and West Campuses.

Other bond construction projects will include renovations and upgrades to the Humanities Building and MacDougall Administration Center, as well as to the Alice F. Schott Center.

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