Building 26 to get makeover

By Joey Gomez - Staff Reporter

The Facilities and Operations Department is planning big changes on campus in the coming year.

Building 26, which is more than 40 years old, on Highline's campus is scheduled for a $25 million renovation and a 15,000 square foot expansion, scheduled to start next summer. The old Building 26 will have an improved nursing facility, fitness center and wellness center.

"A lot of these buildings are overdue for a face lift," said Karen Herndon the facilities Project Manager.

"This a huge project," she said.

The last big project that the campus has seen was in 2004, the construction of the Higher Education Center, Building 29. After more than four years of planning already and multiple rejections, the buildings projected finish date is fall of 2018.

"It will be a really great fitness center," said Herndon.

"The building will look well lit and attractive," she said.

This major project will have a nice student lounge, in high hopes that the legislature doesn't cut the project budget, Herndon said.

"Labs are expensive," she said.

The FF&E — furniture, fixture, and equipment — budget will cover all of these components that go into these life science laboratories. This takes account for every bench, light switch, outlet, lights, etc.

"This will really be a wonderful place to get an education in nursing, respiratory care, and other life science curriculum," Herndon said.

To enable the construction in Building 26, classes will be moved to other locations on campus. A few of those will be Building 23 and Building 25 on the sixth floor. These buildings will undergo improvements to accommodate Building 26 occupants, Herndon said. The construction for buildings 23 and 25 should be done by May 2017.

"There are a lot of dominoes around Building 26," said Herndon.

The new building will also have two gender neutral restrooms, along with shower rooms; for those that need to clean up after a hard work out.

There are multiple projects planned for Highline, most are minor compared to Building 26. The old building has been maintained since the 70s', and after its construction it should have a lifespan of a minimum of 20 to 30 years. With other projects to keep in mind, building 23 is the most likely candidate for the next big project.

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