Bulldozed bungalows: Futuristic structure makes way

As previously announced in September, a $90.5 million building is set to replace Valley’s long-standing bungalows.

By Benjamin Royer, Valley Life Editor

Empty and deteriorating bungalows sit near the Emergency Services Training building at Valley College.. The college plans on demolishing the bungalows to begin construction on a new building that will accommodate a variety of academic disciplines, which is expected to be finished within the next five years. (Photo by Jeremy Ruiz/The Valley Star)

Three stories tall with a sleek design, Valley College will have a new building that catches the driver’s eye as they pass by.

Initiatives campus and district-wide allow Valley to be considered a “green” campus with the goal of helping the environment as a whole. This plan is implemented within the “Academic Complex 1,” which was introduced in its full glory at the District Citizens Oversight Committee Meeting on Oct. 15. Encompassing 80,000 gross square footage, the structure is set to replace the quad that held campus bungalows and will arrive as soon as 2025; with construction set to begin in the second quarter of 2023. At the cost of $90.5 million, Valley received the funds to start construction via taxpayer bond money.

“The district has a commitment to sustainability and it is looking into different ways that we can promote sustainable practices,” said Valley President Barry Gribbons. “For ‘Academic Complex 1,’ no fossil fuels will be used in the building. The energy performance will exceed title 24 by 10 percent, LED lighting throughout, LEED certified, photovoltaic ready and then the stormwater measures.

Visible at the intersection of Burbank and Ethel avenue on Valley’s campus, the project will push many of Valley’s academic departments to the three-story highrise.

Business, Psychology, Sociology, Math and more will pack up and move into the innovative building in four years, switching where courses will be taught in the upcoming semesters. Thirty-six classes and 90 faculty offices will be built according to the current floorplan which could allow for more classes, students and faculty.

A man walks past the deteriorating bungalows that sit near the Emergency Services Training building at Valley College. (Photo by Jeremy Ruiz/The Valley Star)

As a part of the presentation introduced at the meeting on Oct. 15, a point was made for a stormwater capture area to be placed within Valley’s campus. The stormwater capture system is something that Valley has been in the works on for a few years and is outlined in upcoming projects.

“Campus road north and south on Coldwater Canyon will include the ability to capture stormwater so it doesn't run off into the sewer system,” said Gribbons.

In developments spanning from 2022 through 2027, installations for on-campus stormwater collection systems are set to be built and improved on as the years pass. For example, “Academic Structure 1” will host underground stormwater tanks used to collect water that is used for drainage in dry spells. California and states similar have developed bills to help fund these systems to protect “drought-prone” regions.

Looking towards the future, the new building carries sustainability features such as the removal of fossil fuel usage altogether and only LED lights. Outside the complex, there will also be a secure bike parking area, passenger pick-up and drop-off area.

“There are some unique features that relate to that [the sustainability],” said Gribbons. “It’ll include natural atrium ventilation, forest certified hardware stair, polished concrete floors, cool exterior paving, drought tolerant landscaping, high performance rain screen, cool roof, high performance glazing and horizontal and vertical sun fins.”

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