New life for old rooms under way

Cassandra McGowan, Reporter

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After 57 years in its current location, Bakersfield College is getting a much-needed facelift.

Over the past few semesters there have been various construction projects around campus.  These renovations started with the Speech, Arts, and Music building as well as the outdoor amphitheatre and have continued with the remodeling of the small theater located in Fine Arts 30. The courtyard in the Science and Engineering building has also been remodeled.

Construction and renovations in the SAM building have been ongoing since April 2013 and are expected to be complete in 2014. BC’s public relations representative, Amber Chiang, said that progress is “not ahead, nor behind.”

When the SAM reconstruction is finished, the building will host two elevators to comply with the rules of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a brand new theater, and other upgraded amenities for the Performing Arts department to utilize.

The courtyard in the Science and Engineering area also was redesigned.  The grass, fountains, and perimeter bench were removed. Chiang stated that the remodel was designed to be more useable by students and have more foliage and seating areas available.

A bond from the Safety Repair and Improvement District funded this construction.  “They are still looking for an oil company to help support the courtyard because of the natural extension from science and engineering to the oil fields,” said Chiang.

Fine Arts 30, which holds a small theater, was another recipient of a makeover.  The theater was aged and had some safety issues according to BC’s Performing Arts department chair John Gerhold.

He said there were broken, unsafe chairs and light fixtures, and a lot of the equipment they used in the room was outdated. The chairs were replaced, as was the carpet and broken light fixtures.  Gerhold also said that the entire Fine Arts building, including the theater, got a fresh coat of paint.  In regards to all of the updates on the Fine Arts building Gerhold said, “We’re very happy they did it.”

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