College of the Canyons officials once again expanded the college’s footprint in the Santa Clarita Valley with their agreement to purchase two plots of land in the center of the city.
The $19.825 million land deal buys the college a fully furnished, 30,000-square-foot tech center on 3.76 acres in the middle of Santa Clarita, north of Soledad Canyon Road between Valley Center Drive and Golden Valley Road, according to a board report of the transaction.
The building fills an important need and is a part of the college’s “future-forward” focus on its efforts to prepare students for the workforce, according to Jerry Danielsen, who was appointed to the governing board in March.
“It’s a great job training kind of facility,” Danielsen said. “There’s going to be manufacturing computerized machining, welding, material joining, robotic welding, integrated fabrication, construction technologies — all kinds of job training, which is something that our community needs.”
The governing board unanimously supported a motion approving the deal with local developer Intertex, after a discussion in closed session.
The process behind the purchase drew questions because there was no competitive-bidding process prior to entering the agreement.
Eric Harnish, spokesman for COC, said there was no bidding process because it wasn’t a public works project, the college was entering “a purchase agreement for a finished building.”
He described the arrangement as a “cost-effective solution for delivering facilities needed to offer instructions that benefit students and the local workforce.”
He said the college conducted an independent appraisal of the project prior to the discussion with Intertex, a local contractor.
“The district doesn’t pay any money until the building is completed,” Harnish said, “and not just completed but certified by [the Division of the State Architect] and we’ve agreed that it meets our specifications.”
Harnish also noted the district looked at a number of properties and wasn’t able to find anything as suitable, especially since the land is located almost “equidistant” between the Canyon Country and Valencia campus off Golden Valley Road.