Officials stretch cash to furnish Multi-Use Facility

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By Estela Fuentes
The Guardsman

City College is looking to reduce its carbon footprint at Ocean campus with the new Multi-Use Facility scheduled to open this fall.

Although the college was allocated $64.7 million to construct and furnish the building, it’s been difficult to find sustainable furniture while staying within budget, Kathy Hennig, City College’s purchasing manager said.

“Its about a third of what we need,” Hennig said. “So I’m really working hard to stretch it as far as I can to accommodate what we need to get up and running. But I want to make the building look nice too.”

Classrooms in the new building will have adjustable tables and chairs instead of traditional chair desks so students can be comfortable.

Some of the countertops going into the building are made of Paperstone, which is 100 percent post-consumer recycled. The chairs going into the ESL labs are green certified and are made out of 97 percent recycled content. All instructor desks going into the new building will be made of 78 percent recycled content.

Sustainable furniture is a lot more expensive than regular furniture, so Hennig is working hard to find creative solutions.

“Fifty of the office chairs are actually recycled chairs. We bought them used, and I’m having them steam cleaned and tightened up,” Hennig said.

She also bought used cabinets that will be repainted to match the new furniture and said she even searched through Craigslist to save money.

Dean of Scheduling Terry Hall said that although the Multi-Use Facility will be ready for use next fall, the original plan of sharing the space with San Francisco State is still undetermined.

“SF State, if they plan to offer classes here, will be renting classes from us,” Hall said. “But they don’t have anything scheduled.”

The building will house a number of classes as well as department offices and student services.

“The primary occupants will be the health education department,” Hall said. “The child development department will have all their programs in there.”

The new facility will also house the financial aid office, counseling and the Ambassador Program among other student services.

“The building is a classroom building so we’ll have all types of classes in there: math classes, ESL, foreign language and English,” Hall said.

Both Hennig and Hall hope that students enjoy the finished and fully furnished building next semester.

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