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Taylor Swift’s opening song in her Eras Tour includes the lyrics, “ its been a long time coming…”

For students, faculty, and alumni alike, Swift’s lyrics echo in the halls like the sounds of construction. You know, those sounds we’ve been trying to tune out during class.

In June 2016, nearly two-thirds of local voters approved Measure A, a $950 million bond to upgrade and modernize the facilities at Las Positas and Chabot College. The college district then got the green light to start the process of upgrading current facilities, expand current programs’ spaces and some assorted improvements

Owen Letcher, Vice Chancellor of Facilities and Bond Programs and Operations, lists a total of 12 projects funded by Measure A. The list ranges from the subtle, like removing the old Building 100 portables, to the most dramatic, such as the new Agriculture Sciences buildings and the Public Safety Complex/Advanced Manufacturing and Transportation (PSC/AMT).

Dr. Nan Ho, Vice President of Academic Services at Las Positas College is proud of the work being done to modernize the campus.  

“The opening of these new facilities on the campus is a testament to our dedication to student success” Ho said.

“We take great pride in our investment in these state-of-the-art facilities, made possible by the generous backing of our community members through Bond Measure A.” 

Every project expands the breadth of services offered to the Las Positas community, though each does so in its own way. The PSC/AMT project provides a new, modern home to several disciplines. The AMT areas will provide modernized study and work spaces for students studying Auto and Welding Technology within the Advanced Manufacturing & Transportation courses area. The PSC portion supports the Public Safety programs, including Administration of Justice, Emergency Medical Services, and Fire Service Technology.

Fire Service Technology’s (FST) program is also receiving assistance with the measure.

Until this semester, classroom sessions were taught at Las Positas, and much of the hands-on training with ladders, hose, and burn props were hosted at the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department’s training tower in Pleasanton.  While limited instruction was often provided in the amphitheater, the two sites required more planning, and cooperation with local fire department’s use at the shared training tower.

But no more. The regional cooperation is ongoing – on a recent overcast Friday, training cadets from Alameda County, Fremont Fire and other fire departments – joined academy coordinator George Freelen in teaching ladder techniques.  Being able to provide this caliber of instruction on-site ultimately offers LPC students and cadets an advantage over other regional fire training programs.

“Everything is within reach,” fire cadet Michael Hamilton said.  “[This] makes it easier for cadets to plan out a single route, accounting for traffic, potential crashes, etc.”

Fire cadet Dominic Stellini-Splan said  “[We] do not have to travel to another tower multiple times a week… saving us money on gas and it allows us to get the most out of our parking passes as well.”  

As a former high school football player. Stellini-Splan compares the new facilities to his time playing Division 1 football at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  “We had our own facility on campus where we could train, study and practice, and Las Positas has done just that by opening the new [FSC/AMT] building.”

“We empower our students to excel in their chosen fields and achieve their academic and career goals,” Dr. Ho said.

Paul George is the copy editor at the Express. Follow him at @paulgeorgePIO

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