C.W. Driver Companies, a premier builder serving California since 1919, today commenced the ground-up construction of a 96,000-square-foot, multi-disciplinary facility for Long Beach City College. The $48.2 million, three-story facility is the first design-build project funded by the state of California and will house a variety of academic programs including language arts, career technology education, computer and office studies, student success center and support programs. Designed to be a 21st century learning environment and achieve LEED® Gold Certification, the new facility is anticipated to reach completion in November 2021.

Located on the Liberal Arts Campus, the project will include the demolition of two existing classroom buildings as well as all associated utilities, hardscape, irrigation and landscaping. Originally two 1960s concrete frame buildings, the new facility will be constructed as a single steel frame structure complete with classroom, study and administrative spaces. Key spaces include a lecture hall, reading and writing focus areas and breakout rooms. The project will be built around existing community courtyards where students can connect, study and socialize.

“We’re honored to lead the first design-build project funded by the state of California, which will introduce a much-anticipated multi-disciplinary facility at Long Beach City College,” said Tom Jones, Project Executive at C.W. Driver Companies. “Our deep-rooted experience in design-build construction coupled with the efficiencies of this method – enhanced collaboration, improved communication and a team environment – will help fulfill the college’s vision for a sustainable and forward-thinking learning environment.”

The facility will feature a design that nods to the historic framework and character of the Liberal Arts Campus while creating a modern multi-disciplinary community. The blend of these design concepts will create an atmosphere that embraces the campuses’ Spanish colonial revival style while introducing contemporary elements with their own sense of place and time.

To achieve LEED® Gold Certification, the team will integrate sustainable design practices and features with a focus on water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, fuel-efficient transportation and material resources. Key features include dedicated parking spaces for carpooling and fuel-efficient cars; light colored hardscape; overhangs, balconies and shade structures to mitigate heat island effect; storm water infiltration; low-flow efficient plumbing structures; HVAC strategies for improved air quality and more.

C.W. Driver Companies is working with HPI Architecture on the project. Over the past 20 years, C.W. Driver Companies has delivered more than 40 design-build projects across California valued at $585 million. Other notable higher education design-build projects from the firm include San Diego Mesa College’s Fine Arts Building; CSU, San Marcos’ Student Health and Counseling Building; UC San Diego’s East Campus Office Building; UC Irvine’s Alumni Center and two recently awarded projects for CSU, Fullerton’s Visual Arts Campus and Mira Costa College’s Oceanside Campus – Chemistry and Biotechnology Building.