FAIRFIELD — Solano College trustees have some homework to do before making a decision on how construction for a $348 million bond will be carried out.
The Solano Community College District Board of Trustees heard presentations Wednesday on options for how to put the projects out to bid and whether to use a project labor agreement.
Several presentations were given in relation to Measure Q, the $348 million bond passed by voters in November that promised to add new facilities and programs to all three of Solano College’s campuses.
The board will have the ultimate say in how the process is handled. Wednesday’s meeting was merely to present those options. Yulian Ligioso, vice president of finance and administration, said the item could return to the board at next month’s meeting.
It is early in the process of what will likely be months of discussion before permanent plans will be approved.
Mark Kelley, with Dannis Woliver Kelley, gave the board a breakdown of ways the district can put projects out to bid once they are approved. He said the five options are design-bid-build, lease-leaseback, multiple prime contracting, construction management at risk, or design-build. Kelly gave the board benefits and drawbacks for each method.
Ligioso then presented an issue that many in the crowd spoke about during public comment. The topic of project labor agreements brought out speakers on both sides of the issue for an argument that centered around whether the process favored union laborers or not.
Dan Broadwater, business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, told the board that the process allows both union and nonunion workers to bid the job and oftentimes stipulates that locals will be used. He pointed to Genentech construction in Vacaville and wind turbines are examples of projects completed with project labor agreements.
“They bring pride to the people of the county,” Broadwater said. “It’s a fair arrangement. Union and nonunion can both bid, so let’s get over that.”
Eric Christian, executive director for the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction, said similar agreements used in the college’s previous bond made it a complete mess. He also warned the board not to use firms based on if they made campaign contributions in the past.
“This is not a Democrat/Republican issue. This is not a union versus nonunion issue,” Christian said. “It’s an issue of common sense.”
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