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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Board plans to demolish Rotunda, sell land parcel

September, 18, 2019 | Juan Ibarra | editor-in-chief
The demolition of the South Campus Rotunda is currently being considered by the board of trustees. If approved, the structure will be replaced by open land. Photo by Joseph Serrata/The Collegian
The demolition of the South Campus Rotunda is currently being considered by the board of trustees. If approved, the structure will be replaced by open land.
Photo by Joseph Serrata/The Collegian

Plans are in the works for the South Campus Rotunda to be torn down and 7.4 acres of land on NE Campus to be sold to build an animal shelter.

These points were discussed during the monthly TCC board of trustees governance meeting Sept. 12. Every month, a governance meeting is held to discuss the issues and proposals that will be brought up during the board meeting a week later. The next board meeting will be Sept. 18.

South’s Rotunda was constructed in 1973, and in the last decade, a number of issues have popped up.

“Since 2004, there have been a number of assessments of that facility, and it has been concluded multiple times at this point that it is at the end of its useful life,” chief operating officer Susan Alanis said.

The issues with the Rotunda include foundation issues where the wall is separating

from the floor, obsolete heating and air conditioning systems, and malfunctioning fire dampers.

“Because of the condition of the building, we are spending around $170,000 a year just on maintenance to deal with emergent issues,” Alanis said.

Beyond the conditions, practical issues with the layout of the building do not represent the modern-day classroom, she said.

“The classrooms are not useful to the active learning environment that we have created at this point,” Alanis said.

Alanis and the facilities team recommended other buildings on South Campus absorb activities and classes happening within the Rotunda while they plan and demolish the facility.

Alanis and her team looked into renovating the building instead of demolishing, but that would require $8-10 million to accomplish.

“We don’t think that is the best use of those resources,” she said.

The space that would be left by the Rotunda’s absence would later be turned into a green space that would just be an open patch of land.

“It will not only improve the aesthetics of the campus, but it will also create some additional event space,” Alanis said. “It could be an active asset to the campus.”

The plan is to return to the topic in the spring and hire a contractor to set the demolition for as soon as late spring or summer of 2020, according to Alanis.

The board also discussed a plan to sell 7.4 acres of land to the city of Hurst for $645,000.

The land being sold is not usable for campus buildings, according to Preather, and instead is set to be used as a space to build an animal shelter and a community dog park.

“There can never be enough room for shelters and dog parks,” NE student Chloe Gardner. “I think it is a perfect idea.”

The board also discussed a proposal to contract with Skanska USA Building to provide pre-construction services on NW Campus.

“This is for pre-constructive services that would allow to work with a design professional to help establish a constructibility plan, schedule, cost verification,” associate vice chancellor of real estate and facilities Gary Preather said.

It remains to be seen whether this is tied directly to the upcoming bond election on Nov. 5, but it would be in line with the bond proposal’s reasoning of “constructing, improving and renovating and equipping” buildings in the TCC district.

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