Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Monday's SOCCCD Board Meeting: $62 million for proposed Saddleback Stadium project!

They've just gotta have it
     Below: from Tere’s Board Meeting Highlights for Monday’s meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees, under the heading “presentations”:
[WORKDAY] A current status report was provided on the Workday project and related software projects, following the board's request for report on the subject. Several managers and administrators provided a recap of reasoning behind the decision to move to the new enterprise resource planning system and the 3.5 year rigorous process which included contributions from all constituencies through business process analysis sessions. Moving from paper to online and toward ideal and transparent processes requires systematic change management to make a cultural shift in organizations. [My emphasis.] The group provided an overview…. Some of the challenges include getting used to new reporting and short-term increases in workload due to changes in processes. This will be examined to ensure that front line staff feel supported. ... Some items have been delayed for roll out to allow for adjustment to the current changes. The goal is to increase training and raise the comfort level during the initial two-year stabilization period. This [?] is to be expected in any major change management initiative. 
[See Workday doesn't work? (A serious district FUBAR?) (DtB, 7-3-15)]
[STADIUM "RENOVATION"] An overview was presented about the Saddleback College Athletics Stadium renovation and site improvements project…. SC's current stadium was built in 1969 with maximum seating of 4,500 and restrooms located outside the stadium. Concession areas, press box, sidelines and safety zones are all substandard. Maintenance of natural turf is problematic. One of the biggest issues is ADA accessibility. College athletic staff propose that a new stadium would raise awareness in the community and provide a venue for SC to host regional athletic competitions and other community events. Vice Chancellor Fitzsimons provided a recap of forecasted project costs … over the past nine years. She explained how the scope of the project has grown significantly and is currently at $62 million for the total project, with the stadium itself at $49 million. The proposed future stadium would seat 8,000 and include a nine lane track, storage, concession stands, press box, adequate restrooms and team meeting rooms, synthetic turf and energy efficient lighting. Upon evaluation of the proposals, it was determined that the cost proposals exceeded the available combined budget of $39,525,000. College and district staff presented their strategies to address the project shortfall. Funding for the stadium and the site improvements were combined for planning purposes and an RFP was issued. ... The college and district have worked collaboratively on the project planning to develop the scope and identify cost efficiencies. A difference of $22 million is needed to fully fund the project and alternative funding strategies are being recommended from SC’s Promenade income and redevelopment funds.
. . . 
[TENTATIVE BUDGETS] – The district-wide fiscal team provided a summary report on the tentative district budget including a review of the board’s budget philosophy, assumptions used for budgeting, funding categories…. They communicated concerns about certain budget trends and suggested that tightening of budgets may need to occur. COLA was 0% this year and that was a setback as it doesn’t help to offset increasing personnel costs. IVC and SC student government groups presented an overview of their budgets and highlighted accomplishments of the student leadership groups. Both colleges reported declining bookstore and associated [student] government revenues. Both student leadership groups propose moving to an opt-out funding model for 2016-2017ASG stickers/cards to increase revenues.

Slide used during presentation
The stadium dollar figure keeps changing, growing:

     Allow me to focus on the "new stadium for SC" issue. The topic of building a new ("long-promised") stadium for SC came up during a board meeting four months ago, amid the discussion of the “2018-2019 five-year construction plan.” Of course, that very topic had come up during several previous board discussions of construction plans.
     In my report of that meeting, I wrote this:
     Jemal: athletic stadium costs. They've doubled since last year. Brandye: last year, when we came to you with requests, it was $18 million for stadium. [See May 2015. See also December, 2014.] That concerned original design by consultant. Those numbers were used last year. We moved forward, met with "criteria architect." Ideas were taken to faculty, staff. Has doubled to a $36 million project. So what we do? Process we use: if over budget, we go to college and give options. She explains how other resources became available (I had a coughing fit amidst Brandye's explanation, so I dunno). Jemal expresses consternation with this change in cost. Brandye discusses realities of working with these figures, plans, contractors, etc. Jemal: please don't come to us with "back of envelope" figures again, you dig? Everybody is in agreement. about that, I guess. Pendergast: $36 million just for stadium itself? Or field, etc. also? Brandye: Don't have exact answer. She rifles through files. The $36 million is indeed specific to the stadium. Big money, man.
     Item is moved. Unanimously approved. We're approving priorities, not costs, at this point, reminds Jemal, who is peeved. Prendergast: when this first emerged, big push from foundation. It helps to have a vision to fundraise. Brandye passes question off to Burnett. Burnett says the foundation doesn't nearly have the money to cover this extra cost. Blah blah blah. They vote: unanimous.
     For the subsequent March board meeting, I reported the following (re Board Prez Jemal’s “board report”):
     Trustee Tim Jemal: thanked everyone for awards dinner. Wunnerful, wunnerful, wunnerful. Will attend something at IVC this weekend. Wanted to mention "the stadium." [Was he talkin' to me?] I'm personally very much in support of building a fancy schmancy stadium at SC. [Did someone suggest otherwise? Was it me?] But process is important, he said. I implore the college and the district to work together on this. But fiscal issues are important as well. We need to do this in a way that makes sense. "We need to do it the right way, you all know that."
     Perhaps [?] this remark was a corrective to my suggestion that Jemal had been "peeved" about the stadium issue in February. He didn't want to get tagged as "anti-stadium."
     During the May board meeting, Saddleback College President Burnett briefly discussed his college’s big needs; he then noted that he hoped the stadium would be built.
     No doubt about it. Saddlebackians have "big new stadium" on the brain, and they've had that conditions for many years. Several trustees have been likewise afflicted.
     But the notion that there's a crying need for a big new stadium at Saddleback College (never mind that IVC doesn't even have a stadium) is rank Saddlebackcentrism. Yep, I've been carpin' about Saddlebackcentrism, especially at the district (e.g., among trustees), for a while.
     Recently, too. In my UPDATE (6-17-2016) to DtB’s saga of socccd, I wrote:
Saddleback's [relative] shrinkage amidst continued Saddlebackcentrism
• Facts is facts: as Saddleback College slowly sinks into a secondary role in the district, population-wise (they’ll deny this, of course), many of its denizens continue to imagine that that college is the center of the universe; and they are determined to construct an enormous new stadium befitting such a grand entity. Expect much Sturm und Drang over this. Some of the trustees (including current Board Prez Tim Jemal) seem prepared to just say no to the pro-stadium crowd. [Well, not “no,” I guess. He's just concerned about cost and process. He's made it clear that he says "yes," despite the new and alarming cost figures.] 
• (We at DtB have long complained about the endless Saddlebackcentrism of the district, exhibited routinely by such board members as Mr. Wright, among others (see here). One manifestation: the board’s refusal to see the wisdom of moving district headquarters off of the SC campus to a more “neutral” location. See here.)
     Don't know what I mean by "Saddlebackcentrism"? Here's the, um, definition:
Saddlebackcentrism: regarding Saddleback College as the central or most important element of existence, especially as opposed to God or Irvine Valley College.
     A "for instance":
     Bill Jay: some of us went to the Foundation event recently [he reported]. People don't realize the tremendous job the Foundation does. (Annoyingly, when he refers to "the foundation," he seems to be referring to Saddleback College's Foundation.) We've won three national championships, but we have no stadium. The Foundation is working on that. We'll have a stadium. [Note the “we.”] 
–My description of Bill Jay’s board report, April 29, 2013
     Those people always talk that way. Pisses me off.

The February meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees: Saddlebackians want a new stadium and it's all that matters! (February, 2014)


Anonymous said...

You're right about the saddleback centric district. Since Tod Burnett, there has been too much competitiveness and strife. Trying to one up IVC on everything. That didn't seem to be the case with former SC presidents. And, lately, it is worse. Even on trivial issues.

Anonymous said...

Saddleback's FTES has dwindled each year for over five years. Has leveled somewhat this year but nothing to be excited. In Saddleback's service area they have twice the number of high schools. But cant bring in a growing student population. Maybe Tod and company should look at their outreach program. Tod kept invading and fighting over the college service areas. IVC has given away Laguna Beach High School and El Toro. IVC will eventually outgrow Saddleback. Two new high schools will arrive soon in Irvine.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Workday. "This [?] is to be expected in any major change management initiative."

Regarding Expectations:
Are staff normally told not to complain with any change initiative?
Are staff to remain frustrated over the inability of District staff to answer questions or frustrated when they are told "you should talk to someone else about how Workday works."
Are staff to simply accept the initiative of Workday as inadequate, inefficient, ineffective and illogical in design and performance and promised improvements?
Are staff to simply smile like good soldiers and pretend that someday Workday will work?
Are staff to simply now and forever acknowledge that what used to take twenty minutes will now routinely take two hours and accept this as some sort of improvement? How might we respond when we are continuously told that "it can't do that."
Unfortunately Workday landed at a District where the classified employees know how to manage all things great and small with or without an "initiative." A large, sharp, dynamic group of professionals who understand quickly what works and what takes our work to a better level and takes it forward or what doesn't work and stops us in our tracks most days where more often than not we sit and can only shake our heads and stare in amazement at our monitors.

We do not need pats on the heads or talk of any more growth experiences or initiatives or its new and we just need to give it time talks. We have no time. This initiative needs fixing to our standards and expectations and it needs fixing now.

Anonymous said...

Hey 4:10 - I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you're a member of the classified staff. My experience is that there are definitely many of you that would be considered "sharp, dynamic group of professionals" and then there are others that would fit in just fine at the DMV when it comes to customer service and work ethic. But that's OK, every group on campus is a mixed bag and you're no exception. However you would have more credibility in your comments if you didn't make your group sound like a bunch of superstars when we all know that's not true.

Here's my question for you. I heard that the union has gotten involved in this whole Workday issue and is asking for increased pay for the Sr. Admins to compensate for the extra workload that Workday has caused. Is that true? And if so, does that diminish the credibility of those complaining about it? If you have a financial incentive for the problems not to be solved, how can we trust you that they aren't solved? Inquiring minds want to know...

Anonymous said...

If D.O. and her staff received unparalleled bumps in their salaries, I don't see a problem with the senior admins requesting a bump in their salaries either. After all, the district appears to be swimming in dough. If Workday is a good excuse to get more money, so be it. It's become free for all thanks to our rubber-stamping board.

Anonymous said...

Not all Sr Admins would be looking for a reclass. Sr Admins who work for a school division or the VPs should. This past year many responsibilities from payroll, human resources and business were transferred to Sr. Admins who work for Deans and VPs. These specialists from the district level are ranked higher than Sr Admins. So naturally they should seek a new reclass such as Division Administrative Assistant or School Office Manager.

Anonymous said...

7:16. Enjoyed your post. Yes, we do have DMV employees in the classified ranks just like faculty in the ranks who haven't met students during office hours in years. I primarily meant that those where Workday problems have landed on to fix are indeed many of our best employees. I have heard also about compensation. It may be an effort of recognition of the additional Workload or just another rumor. Why would that lessen our credibility? Some take on accreditation, student success iniatives, and are also inflicted with huge administrative hassles and receive huge raises for their work--is their credibility lessened because they are compensated? Therefore, why a question when it comes to classified? I see folks with huge chunks of change from the District post here often--should I discount their views? We wouldn't even be talking that chunk of change. Thanks for listening. From a fellow DMV cube dweller.

Anonymous said...

One more question: as faculty and management fix, manage, and rescue huge bureaucratic messes not of their making or liking do we question your credibility as you are compensated for fixing those messes? Do you make those messes larger due to the compensation received? You asked the question, not me. A rather insulting question huh?

Anonymous said...

I thought Workday was supposed to SAVE us money and time but require more from us.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe the stadium is being made such a high priority at Saddleback! When we have so many other needs. Geez.

Anonymous said...

I don't frankly care if Sadleback builds a new stadium, modern colleges today need modern facilities, I do care about how Saddleback seems to be able to get basic aide money to upgrade buildings but IVC doesn't seem to be able to do so. I do not know if this is the culture of the SOCCCD or IVC Management or a little of both, I suspect the latter.

I do think we should finish building the much much needed original buildings for IVC and a few still needed at Saddleback before we undertake such an expensive new stadium project at Saddleback, of course, seems everything is being shelved for the debacle d'ATEP these days.

Roy Bauer said...

10:19, I don't disagree. See my revised position: here (the "PS")

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