Editorial: Progress at CRC means sacrificing a few trees along the way


Location of new Winn Center, formerly where an ornamental pear orchard used to grow.

Progress: a word Americans love.

Progress spurs colleges, builders and architects to construct and design better buildings and campuses.

Meeting students’ advancing educational and environmental needs is foremost in the minds of the Cosumnes River College Facility Master Planners.

Construction crews are working everywhere on the CRC campus.

Most recently crews with giant backhoes have cut down the ornamental pear tree orchard on the east side of the school in order to break ground for the Winn Center.

It will be rated using the new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, a certification program in the key areas of human and environmental health.

The building is expected to be a “model in green technology,” according to Lionakis Inc., the architecture firm working on the project.

The trees that were destroyed will be replaced by 175 new trees. When nature is sacrificed for buildings like this, the Joni Mitchell song that says “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot” comes to mind.

But it’s all in the name of progress, making our school a better place to learn.

The building will include space for the architectural and construction programs, as well as design studios and laboratories. There will also be room for the photography and pharmacy technology programs.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Mike Winn, president of Sacramento-based land development and planning company Michael Winn Associates, said to the Sacramento Press that he hopes “today marks the beginning of Sacramento’s next building cycle.”

The Winn Center will be named after Mike, Tom and Pete Winn, the largest contributors to the project and former owners of Winncrest Homes, now merged with Lennar communities.

As builders, they’ve felt the effects of the recession and are looking forward to an upturn in the economy and the prospect of more contractors and architects being educated at the new facility.

In March 2004, a facility master plan was released detailing plans for building at CRC through 2015.

Many projects on the list have yet to be completed, such as the instructional buildings that would have been where the Winn Center is going. Plans changed, but there was a plan.

Over the past couple years, many watched the progression of the new and improved cafeteria. The new facilities are roomier and have more to offer students. That’s progress.

The many trees on campus were planned out decades ago. They have grown and matured. Without those trees, we wouldn’t have a cool place to relax between classes and the air we breathe wouldn’t be as clean. That’s progress.

We have to roll with progress and trust the leaders of our college and the developers to plan intelligently for the future of our beautiful school. They haven’t failed us yet.