Bakersfield College shut down for more than 8 hours

James Macias, Reporter


The Bakersfield College campus was shut down for more than eight hours Oct. 7 due to a water main breakage. It was the result of the ongoing construction that is rampant all over the BC campus.

Crews from at least three separate contractors on three separate projects are present. They represent administration’s interest in addressing three key issues: an outdoor restroom system for the new theater, the new theater itself, and an upgrade for the water and gas pipes.

It was the crew covering the outdoor restrooms that ran into trouble.

“They hit a waterline that was deeper than required by any code and not mapped on any schematic in existence,” according to Amber Chiang, public relations director of BC. “What happened last Tuesday was they needed a part that has not been standard for more than 20 years.”

That project is still on schedule.

The water and gas pipes of BC’s campus are out of date and more than 50 years old, having not been updated or even addressed since the campus’s original construction in 1955. Crews are working hard to correct this oversight. “They start early in the morning as many worksites do,” Chiang said.

As to the specific case in point, Chiang remarked that, “Closing the campus was not an arbitrary decision. The last time we decided to was July ’09, also for a water main breakage. When things like that happen you have to run out for parts. We knew that the repairs would not be done in an hour. An hour is what we’ve set as the maximum amount of time the campus can be without water due in part to our child development center. How are you going to tell a 4-year-old they can’t go potty?”

Chiang reiterated a message that the BC administration has been trying to convey to students throughout the construction process.

“Stop being stupid,” she said, referring to the habit many students have of walking around with their heads in their smartphones or mp3 players and their earplugs in.

“It is so dangerous not to be aware of your surroundings,” Chiang said.