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Wednesday, March 31, 2010.

Construction to start on Health and Science Building

Work should begin soon on a two-story Health and Science Building at Antelope Valley College’s Lancaster campus following the award of 23 bids to contractors during a special meeting of college trustees Monday.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the building is set for 10 a.m. May 7.

The building will be located west of the Applied Arts Building on the north side of the campus.

Doug Jensen, director of facilities planning and campus development, told trustees that many of the bid amounts were significantly below original projections, resulting in the project being roughly 20 percent below budget.

Monday’s bid awards approved by college trustees amounted to $25.8 million, with eight other bids yet to be awarded. The total projected constructions costs now stand at $41.3 million, which will be paid from a combination of local Measure R funds and state bond revenue.

Officials expect the remaining bids to be awarded soon.

The 107,000-square-foot complex will be the largest on campus when completed. It will contain 44,000 square feet for labs and classrooms to support biological sciences and physical sciences. Another 21,000 square feet will be devoted to health sciences programs including nursing, emergency medical services, surgical, cardiovascular and radiologic technology.

Special features of the building include a planetarium, a surgery demonstration lab and an outdoor botany greenhouse.

The remainder of the building will include 10,000 square feet of general classroom space, as well as faculty offices, a computer lab and a café.

Construction is due to be completed by July 2012. Students should occupy the structure by the fall 2012 semester, according to Jensen.