C.W. Driver Companies, a builder serving California since 1919, announced the completion of Mt. San Jacinto College’s (MSJC) Temecula Valley Campus, marking the first permanent campus for higher education in the city. The 350,000-square-foot facility will enable MSJC to expand access to the residents of Southwest Riverside County and the surrounding communities.
MSJC is part of California’s 116 community college system. MSJC trains local residents for jobs and prepares students to earn associate degrees and transfer to four-year universities. The new campus addresses shortages in classroom space across the district.
The $60 million project consisted of a seismic retrofit and transformation of two, five-story office buildings into a cutting-edge academic facility. Located at 41888 Motor Car Parkway, the new 27-acre campus is equal in size to MSJC’s Menifee Valley Campus, which serves more than 15,000 students. The school provides students access to a welcome center, veterans resource center, health center, dining hall, bookstore, career center, and support services. The new campus features 22 classrooms, six science labs, and five computer labs, as well as dedicated areas for faculty offices, conference rooms, a board room, collaborative spaces, and study group rooms.
“The team at C.W. Driver Companies was proud to partner with Mt. San Jacinto College to develop a convenient, accessible, and quality educational facility for local students,” said Dave Amundson, project executive at C.W. Driver Companies. “By leveraging decades of experience in higher education and tenant improvement construction, we were able to successfully execute a seismic retrofit and complete upgrade resulting in a safe and modern environment for students to learn and pursue their passions.”
Previously owned by Abbott Laboratories and built in 2008, the two commercial buildings were seismically retrofit to meet DSA requirements during the first phase of construction. The scope of work included adding a total of 445 tons of structural steel to reinforce the steel columns on all five levels, in addition to reinforcing the existing foundation 8′ below the surface. Using a truck crane, the construction team carefully hoisted the structural steel members, each one measuring 30′ long and weighing 1,500 pounds, into the building through a narrow 8′ x 6′ window opening. The precision required to execute this task without damaging the building finishes demonstrated the team’s streamlined coordination and attention to detail.
“The ambitious undertaking of repurposing a multilevel commercial space for educational needs was both cost-effective and time-efficient thanks to the team at C.W. Driver Companies,” said Beth Gomez, vice president of business services at Mt. San Jacinto College. “The new campus and innovative design enables Mt. San Jacinto College to further our mission of transforming learners, communities, and lives by expanding our footprint and accommodating more faculty and students.”
The community college district purchased the two office buildings from Abbott Laboratories for $56 million in 2018 to address increasing student enrollment and shortages in classroom space, specifically for courses students need to obtain an associate degree, career certificate, or transfer to a four-year university. Supported by the community, the funding was provided by Measure AA, a $295-million bond measure, which voters approved in 2014 to build and upgrade learning environments throughout the district.
“With the expertise of C.W. Driver Companies, we have realized our vision to serve the residents of Temecula and the surrounding communities by establishing a permanent residence for MSJC in Temecula Valley,” said Dr. Roger Schultz, superintendent/president of MSJC. “This state-of-the-art facility will become the launching point for generations of local students who aspire for college and career success.”
MSJC is a comprehensive college serving a 1,700-square-mile area from the San Gorgonio Pass to Temecula. This Temecula Valley Campus is part of the district’s five-year plan, which also includes projects at the San Jacinto, Menifee Valley, and San Gorgonio Pass campuses. C.W. Driver Companies is also the construction manager for MSJC’s STEM Science and Technology Building and the Building 200 Renovation and Addition projects (San Jacinto campus).
C.W. Driver Companies partnered with 19six Architects on the MSJC Temecula Valley Campus. Additional higher education projects by C.W. Driver include Orange Coast College’s (OCC) Kinesiology and Athletics Complex; OCC’s Student Union Complex; OCC’s Literature & Languages and Social & Behavioral Sciences Complex; the Pomona College Rains Athletic Center; California State University Dominguez Hill’s Science and Innovation Building; Mesa College’s Fine Arts Building; Chapman University’s Keck Center for Science and Engineering; Cal Poly Pomona’s Student Services Building; and Vanguard University’s Waugh Student Center.
* All photos courtesy of 196 Architects