- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—As you walk into the Mike Davis Academic Building on the campus of Pueblo Community College, it’s hard to believe that the state-ofthe- art, nicely decorated facility is in serious need of upgrades.

Standing in the commons area of the building Monday, PCC officials announced that the school has secured more than $3.5 million in state funding for a capital renewal project to help with upgrades to the 113,245-square-foot structure.

“We’ve been looking at this building for several years and have built up quite a few projects that we’ve wanted to get taken care of and we’ve been lucky enough to receive $3.5 million this year in Phase 1 for this project,” said Cliff Kitchen, PCC’s director of facility services.

Phase I will include five controlled maintenance projects. The projects include replacing the roof and upgrading the restrooms on two floors to make them compliant with ADA requirements that were not in place when the building was constructed in 1990.

Other upgrades will be redoing the building elevator’s electrical and ancillary systems as solicited by the project engineer and making improvements to the outdoor Wells Fargo amphitheater to alleviate basement flooding and provide ADA-compliant seating.

Workers also will repair or replace exterior and interior doors and hardware.

The school has selected Steve Hall Architects based in Colorado Springs to manage the project.

In addition, funding will go toward purchasing mechanical systems equipment that would be installed as part of a $5.7 million Phase II that school officials hope to have state funding for next year.

That phase would include remodeling science labs and providing them with new equipment and to develop the school’s STEM center.

Kitchen, who recently was stuck in a broken elevator in the building, said he knows firsthand that the improvements are needed.

“We take great pride in our campus and we look forward to providing something for this community for several decades that will help us move ahead for the education of our regional folks,” Kitchen said.

State Rep. Ed Vigil, D-Alamosa, chairman of the state’s Capital Development Committee, as well as Sen. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, and Rep. Daneya Esgar, DPueblo, attended a news conference addressing the project Monday.

Garcia, who is an EMS faculty member at PCC, said he and his colleagues are excited about the project.

“It’s their leadership and support that has led to these much-needed improvements, but also their advocacy in pushing for more funding for higher education,” Garcia said of Esgar, Vigil and PCC President Patty Erjavec.

Vigil said the capital funding came from a vote by three Republicans and three Democrats.

“We were able to work it out, because if we were to have one descending vote, the project would have failed,” Vigil said.

He said as the committee evaluated projects, Pueblo was at the bottom of the list.

“We were able to pull it out simply because Pueblo needs to have a community college that has quality education and they do. We also need to have the physical facilities so that you

can attract more students,” Vigil said.

Erjavec said the Davis Building is the heartbeat of most of PCC’s academic general education services.

“Aren’t we fortunate to have this wonderful group of Southern Colorado legislative delegates on our side? They see the importance of the community college. They see the importance of the work that we do,” Erjavec said.

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(c)2015 The Pueblo Chieftain (Pueblo, Colo.)

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