Construction moves forward


A student walks past the additions to the Student Services building currently under construction. The construction began in May 2014.

Cameron Weaver and Cameron Weaver

The renovation and extension of the Student Services building is pushing forward this fall at American River College as the addition continues to close in on completion.

The additional building space will house rooms for a Financial Aid Lab, offices for Financial Aid Representatives, and a full lobby.

The construction project began in May of this year, with the ultimate goal of expanding operating space for the Student Services building currently on campus to a whopping 6,000 square feet.

Chuck Nicholson, who works with SW Allen Construction, is one of the overseers of the project.

The success of this enormous project required a strong band of unity and focus on completing the task at hand, as well as strict adherence to established building code laws.

“The strenuous structural guidelines and … rules that the contractor must follow created interesting hurdles to the Student Service project,” Nicholson said.

“With the group effort including the ARC district representatives, the onsite D.S.A. inspector, and the HMC Architects design team, we have not run into a hurdle that we couldn’t jump.”

Mark Browning, who is the IOR (Inspector of Record), ensures all state building codes are properly following during the operation.

During the excavation, the crew found themselves working around pipes and previous work that had been in place since the ‘70s – but this is nothing new for an experienced team.

“You’ll find these usually on any college campus,” Browning said.  “I’ve inspected Los Rios campuses for eight years, and we’ve always been able to overcome and find solutions with the help of the District.”

The stages a construction project goes through on campus, from beginning to end, are varied and detailed.  According to Dan McKechnie, the interim director of administration on the project, the process can take several years.

“The stages involved include pre-planning with the district, approval, design, state approval, public bidding, construction, and then concluding the warranty period, ensuring the work is sound.” said McKechnie.

This is not the first time SW Allen Construction has been a part of a complex construction project on the campus – they also worked on the Performing Arts Theatre in 2007.

With no immediate roadblocks in sight and the construction team roaring forward, the building is expected to be finished in spring of 2015.