OC votes to move ahead on health sciences building

The demolition of Travis Hall and the Rudy Acosta Pavilion to make way for the new Wood Health Sciences Building were approved by the Odessa College Board of Trustees during a special meeting.

The $62,800 bid for the demolition was awarded to Vanco Tuesday. Estimated completion is 15 days and work is expected to start July 5. The Pavilion will be moved to another location on campus.

The Wood Health Sciences Building is expected to cost about $40 million.

Trustees also approved an American Institute of Architects Document with JSA Architects on the Wood Health Sciences Building. Vice President of Administrative Services Ken Zartner said the estimated project cost for architecture is $35 million. The 7.5 percent fee is estimated at about $2.6 million.

Normally, an institution might say they have $40 million to build a building and hire a firm to start building, Zartner said.

“In this situation, we needed to dream the project first and get some designs to go out and fundraise for that. So that preliminary phase where it’s the design phase that usually happens when you hire the architect firm was already done. The studies and the programs and the schematic designs and the building plans have already been conducted before” to show donors, Zartner said.

Now that the programming phase is complete, Zartner said that $50,000 or so that was part of the programming will come off the entire fee the college is paying toward.

“… So it’s kind of like a rebate. We paid in advance because we had to have that advance work to show,” Zartner said.

JSA President Cruz Castillo said he is excited to get to this point. He noted that the firm has a long history with OC.

“We’re excited to be able to continue the growth of the college,” Castillo told the board.

He added that JSA is a very hands-on firm.

“We have inspectors out multiple times a week. That’s the value of having a local firm,” Castillo said.

The board also approved Rapid 7 ransomware software at Carahsoft for $85,493 and a subscription to Hanover Research for $95,000.

The research could address such items as enrollment growth, persistence, transfer and academic program offerings in alignment with the current workforce.

The term of service is for one year starting July 1 and ending June 30, 2022.

Zartner also presented information on a campus loop project called Wrangler Trails which would have outdoor fitness equipment and paths for people to walk.

The board also approved a tax abatement for Project CTV. Board Chair Gary Johnson said the carbon capture project at Penwell is valued at about $880 million.

The college is offering a 10-year tax abatement with the first five years at 100 percent. It would decide 10 percent for the final five years.

Johnson said the total abatement is $591,393. There is an option to pay $600,000 during year one of the abatement period as payment in full of the tax obligations for the 10-year period.

The board also welcomed Laci Harris as a trustee for Place 9 to fill the unexpired term of former Chair Tommy Clark.