CCSF to Lease New Civic Center Campus While Former Campus Undergoes Retrofitting

City College of San Francisco has secured an interim campus to house programs that were abruptly relocated after the college shuttered its Civic Center campus in January for critical seismic-related repairs, college officials said today.

City College officials waited until just days before the start of the 2015 spring semester to tell students and faculty the Civic Center campus was closing for earthquake retrofitting. The campus housed adult and transitional studies and English as a second language programs.

The lease for the proposed interim campus, at 1170 Market St. near United Nations Plaza, will come before the college’s special trustee, Guy Lease, for approval on May 11, according to college spokesman Jeff Hamilton.

This new location, if approved, will be able to accommodate the classes that were formerly held in at the 750 Eddy St. campus. That campus was closed for repairs as required under the Field Act, which mandates that all public schools and community colleges in California have earthquake resistant construction.

According to college officials, the lease on the five-story Market Street facility would cover a six-year period while the original campus’ 104-year-old building undergoes seismic retrofitting.

Chancellor Arthur Tyler said in a statement that the college has begun planning for a restored permanent Civic Center campus at the Eddy Street location.

“We have a long and proud history of serving this community, and will continue to do so,” Tyler said.

The announcement of the proposed interim campus comes just two days after a group of students occupied an administration building on the college’s main Ocean Campus. They demanded the resignation of the special trustee as well as the reversal of cuts to classes, especially in diversity studies, and changes to the school’s tuition payment policy.

The students occupied Conlan Hall, although neither the chancellor nor the special trustee have offices in that building, Hamilton said.

The special trustee position was created after the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges revoked the school’s accreditation in 2013 and removed authority over the school from the elected board of trustees to a special trustee.

Lease is the second special trustee since 2013 and was appointed to the position earlier this year.

He will oversee the transition back to the board of trustees in July, according to college officials.

Many students, faculty and staff have spoken out against the hiring of yet another special trustee after San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow issued a final injunction in February in a 2013 lawsuit filed against the accrediting commission by City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

Karnow concluded that the commission violated the college’s due process rights when it decided to revoke its accreditation in 2013.

The injunction gave City College a new opportunity to defend its accreditation.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

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