By Cheryl Sullivan, Daily Nexus, April 6, 1977
Bids for the construction of a 3,500 square foot addition to the De La Guerra Dining Commons building were sent to possible contractors last Monday, according to Butch Kirkelie, director of housing and residential services.
Besides serving as a dining hall, De La Guerra Commons also houses the staff of the Housing Central administration and Housing Maintenance operation, and the proposed additions will provide more office and maintenance space. The estimated $281,000 addition will expand the office area by 1,150 square feet and will include five offices and a conference room. The existing administrative and storage areas will be altered to provide a central storage facility, an administrative office, and a private, secure coin collections and counting room.
“Right now, we have five administrators, a receptionist, a Xerox, a ditto and a keypunch machine, and six telephones all occupying the same room,” Kirkelie said. “It is nearly impossible to try to concentrate and get some work done in such an active, noisy environment.”
“All those administrators require privacy and order to insure full-scale productivity. Right now, things are insane,” he continued.
Since the Housing Central administration moved into the commons building in 1966, the staff has doubled and the duties have increased, but the office facility has remained the same.
“We just hope to provide a decent working environment and thereby increase productivity,” Kirkelie said.”We have more responsibility than ever before and we need the extra space.”
The expansion will also include a 2,300 square foot addition to the present 900 square foot maintenance area. Currently, the maintenance program includes caring for six residence halls, three dining units, a launderette and 500 apartments. Kirkelie said that the housing maintenance duties have greatly increased in the past ten years, and that the existing facility is much too small to handle the increased responsibilities.
“The present site is so small that it is really unsafe,” he explained. “The expansion will bring the maintenance facility up to the standards of the State Occupational Safety and Health Acts.” Restrooms and various repair shops will be the primary additions.
The proposed expansion was approved by the Regents and the Resident Hall Association in May, 1976, and it just recently won approval from the Coastal Commission.
Funding for the project will come from the Regent Budget for Capital Improvements under the Group A Housing Net Revenue Fund Sub-Account.
Kirkelie said that bids should be in by May 1, and hopefully, a contractor will be selected at that time. Construction is scheduled to begin late this quarter and completion of the project is expected before students move in next fall quarter. “We’re trying to interrupt student life as little as possible,” Kirkelie said.