PPCC’s $4.2 million renovation project gets OK, will go to bid in spring

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Pikes Peak Community College plans to begin construction on a $4.2 million renovation of its science labs at its Centennial campus this spring.

The project received approval from the state’s Capital Development Committee of the General Assembly, said PPCC President Tony Kinkle.

The college is not borrowing money or issuing bonds for the renovation but rather using reserve money, he said. The college also received stimulus money from the federal government, which paid for salaries and benefits this year, freeing up the rest of the money for the project.

“Our science labs on that campus are 31 years old,” he said. “And we identified this as a need in 2002. We just had to get the money to do it.”

Colorado law is strict about allowing governments to issue bonds. Community colleges can only issue bonds if they have an identified revenue source for paying the money back, he said.

“We’re fortunate that we’ve been growing so fast. We’re able to build some reserves,” Kinkle said. “Some of the community colleges in rural parts of the state cannot do that.”

Bids for the project – which include retrofitting labs with safety measures, as well as updating the interior of the labs – will go out in the spring, he said.

“Our planning indicates that by 2012, enrollments in programs using these labs will increase by 28 percent leaving us with a deficit of 1,841 assignable square feet,” he said. “So this approval was essential in getting started with this retrofitting project.”