Evergreen College has a long history with the arts and controversy. Last year former Chancellor Rosa Perez came under fire for many things, among them buying expensive art. This year, it’s the brand new Center for the Arts itself which is causing a stir. One student compares the building to a “paperweight,” an ill-planned, $38 million paperweight. Six classrooms have been closed “indefinitely,” and a welding instructor is now on disability after breathing in toxic fumes in his jewelry class. But ventilation problems are not the only problems facing the Center. It is also contending with fifty Cal/OSHA safety violations and one fire department violation.

Evergreen’s new Chancellor, Rita Cepeta, blames the planning of the building for the problems. “There were some things that the faculty and staff needed to do that weren’t clearly communicated to the builders. There were some things we did clearly communicate and the architects didn’t pay close attention.” Among the problems are dance studios too small to accommodate an entire class, flooding that takes out the electrical system, and a favorite little oopsie, electric piano classes without a sound system.

Watchdog groups who opposed the original construction are giving the district a big “I told you so.”
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