COC Board to address off-site parking lot, burned hillside

An aerial photo of the College of the Canyons Valencia Campus in March 2015. Courtesy of COC

College of the Canyons’ off-site parking lot will soon be transformed from a large dirt lot into a temporary parking lot to accommodate student parking demands.

The off-site lot, located on Magic Mountain Parkway, will help COC meet its short-term parking needs as it constructs its new parking garage in Lot 7 on the college’s Valencia campus.  Once completed, the parking structure will include 1,659 spaces and add about 1,000 spaces to the current parking lot.

“The parking in that lot is free, so students won’t need to purchase a parking permit to use that lot, and then they can take advantage of the discounted Lyft and Uber rides that we’re offering and get easily back and forth from the parking lot, essentially for free,” said Eric Harnish, the college’s vice president of public information, advocacy and external relations.  “We opted to use Uber and Lyft for that rather than a shuttle since it’s more flexible.”

To help facilitate parking on this off-site lot, COC plans to install a temporary surface parking lot to accommodate more than 300 cars.

The $226,562 bid for this work is expected to be reviewed by the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees during its meeting Wednesday, and is expected to be awarded to R.C. Becker and Sons, Inc.

“That is scheduled to get started this week and should take about a month to complete,” Harnish said.

Revegetate Burned Slope

COC is also expected to begin work on a project to revegetate and revitalize a slope damaged in a recent fire that broke out near the Valencia campus Aug. 31.

Named the Canyon Fire, the 8-acre brush fire damaged the entire slope and hillside near West Valencia Boulevard and North Tourney Road, which is located adjacent to the college’s stadium.

“What we’re actually doing there is using that as an opportunity to revegetate that area in a way that reflects the landscaping priorities that are currently in place on the campus,” Harnish said. “We’re going to make use of drought-tolerant plants and bushes.”

The work to complete this project includes demolition and clearing, irrigation repairs, planting, jute netting installation and hydroseeding, according to the board agenda.

“That’s such a highly visible part of the campus and oftentimes it’s the first thing people see when they’re coming off the freeway,” Harnish said.

Board of Trustees members are expected to review a bid totaling $221,465 from American Landscape, Inc. to complete the work.

Native Plant Teaching Garden

The college is also expected to begin work on a new native plant teaching garden located next to the tennis courts on the Valencia campus.

This work will follow the college’s Master Plan on Biodiversity and transform a planter area into a pond with native plants and will include a decomposed granite path, curbs, grading and drainage and a weeping rock.

“The Facilities Master Plan for 2017 to 2022 includes a focus on biodiversity so we’re using landscape areas for more than decoration and envisioning them as teaching spaces,” Harnish said.  “We expect that this will be a resource for science students, but also for photography students and really anybody that wants to visit and experience what will be there.”

This focus on biodiversity is mainly something COC plans to incorporate into the Canyon Country campus where construction work is ongoing to transform the campus from modular buildings to permanent structures.

“You’ll see a lot of landscaping work take place in addition to the construction to the classroom and lab buildings,” Harnish said.  “But biodiversity is also something we want to incorporate into the Valencia campus, as well.”

Board of Trustees members are expected to review a bid for the work and water feature totaling $174,589 from American Landscape, Inc. during their Wednesday meeting.

Work on the project is expected to start in a few weeks and should be completed by early summer, according to Harnish.

Additional Agenda Items

  • Approve of repeal of board policy: Public Records
  • Approve and ratify budget transfers for December 2017 which resulted in increases to the Unrestricted General Fund, Restricted General Fund and State Construction Fund
  • Approve of monthly financial reports for the period ended Dec. 31, 2017 that resulted in $761,005 in increases
  • Approve of quarterly financial status report for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2017

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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