Construction begins on LLU Centennial Complex
Thanksgiving season 2006 brings the long-awaited commencement of construction on the new Loma Linda University Centennial Complex.
According to Kenneth Breyer, ME, assistant vice president for construction services, over the past several months nearly all of the steps preparatory to construction have been completed. These tasks have included:
• The dismantling of Gentry Gymnasium, which previously occupied the building site and has been relocated to serve as the home of the Loma Linda Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church;
• The razing of the Media Services Building, also once part of the site;
• Relocation—completed in early November—of major sewer lines;
• Currently, the entire construction site is being surrounded by protective chain link fencing, and construction trailers and other needed outbuildings are being placed as needed.
Construction officially began with excavation of the site on November 21. A building excavation of 270 by 340 feet and 18 feet deep is to be dug, and soil removed in this process will be taken to an area north of the building site near the railroad tracks, adjacent to the Loma Linda Elementary School.
As Gentry Gymnasium was dismantled, its pilings were removed only to surface level, so as excavation proceeds on the Centennial Complex, the remaining parts of these pilings will also be removed as they are exposed during the excavation work.
When completed—estimates now stand at the first quarter of 2009—the Centennial Complex will be a four-story facility with 148,861 square feet. Since Loma Linda, like much of Southern California, is in a seismic zone 4—indicating the greatest earthquake risk—the new Complex will include all features needed to meet the most current seismic construction codes.
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is serving as general contractor for Centennial Complex construction—supported by an estimated 57 subcontractors.
The “live cam” which has allowed Internet users to follow progress at the building site was temporarily turned off in order to be relocated from its former position in the now-razed Media Services Building. The cam is to be reactivated when construction begins and will be available at www.llu.edu/centennial/complex/construction.html
By Ken McFarland