By Aziza Jackson
WINDSOR, Calif. — Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) recently hosted a groundbreaking ceremony at its Public Safety Training Center (PSTC) in Windsor for a new multipurpose building.
The $5.7 million project will provide the SRJC with a second multipurpose room and support spaces totaling 7,355 square feet. The PSTC’s existing multipurpose room is at maximum capacity, and is where classes are conducted all day, six days a week.
In November 2014, the residents of Sonoma County passed Measure H, a $410 million general obligation bond supporting the students, faculty and staff of the Sonoma County Junior College District. The district includes the SRJC campus and Southwest Center in Santa Rosa, Petaluma campus in Petaluma, Shone Farm in Healdsburg, and the PSTC in Windsor.
The new multipurpose building is just one of several SRJC capital improvement projects included in the district’s Measure H bond and will allow the PSTC to expand its class offerings for men and women who are entering careers as police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.
The Press Democrat reports that an average of 250 to 300 students use the current building that oftentimes gets fully booked on weekdays, causing students in the college’s police academy program to have to schedule remedial training on Sundays.
“We are constantly in need and overbooked for that training area,” said Lanny Brown, director of the Intensive Basic Police Academy, to the Press Democrat.
A number of public safety professional programs reportedly mandate more hours of physical training in a gymnasium-type building, said April Chapman, dean of public safety, to the Press Democrat.
“It’s a special curriculum that requires a special type of room,” Chapman said to the Press Democrat. “This new building will give us relief.”
In March of this year, the district awarded the project to design-builder JL Construction and WLC Architects with a fast-tracked schedule for design and construction in thirteen months. With the start of construction this October, the project remains on schedule for completion in mid-April 2019.
PSTC’s new multipurpose building will be constructed next to the current building and will serve the PSTC as an assembly area, practice area for tactical arts, and workout facility for firefighting trainees, and police cadets.
Features of the new building include restroom, mat rooms, an operable partition that will allow two classes to be conducted simultaneously, and a covered walkway that will connect the multipurpose building to the rest of the campus.
A report from the Press Democrat contributed to this story.