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October 12, 2007

For More Information, Contact:
Hema Sareen Mohan (650) 688-6384


SACRAMENTO – State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) announced today that Governor Schwarzenegger signed his Senate Bill (SB) 614, which would help build schools in California that are completed faster, cost less, and make the best use of tax dollars.  SB 614 dramatically expands the number of K-12 schools eligible to use the “design/build” method of construction, and authorizes all community college districts to use design/build.

The design/build concept overlaps the design and construction phases of a project, partnering the architect and the builder throughout the building process.

“The design/build option eliminates some of the bureaucracy involved in building new schools, and ensures that architects and builders work as a team to get schools built,” said Simitian.  “California is poised to build new schools over the next few years.  This new law offers a commonsense process for building them faster and cheaper.”

In 2002, Simitian authored Assembly Bill (AB) 1000, which allowed a few community college districts to try the design/build approach to construct new school buildings.  The San Mateo County Community College District was one of the school districts chosen to test the process.

Ron Galatolo, Chancellor of the San Mateo County Community College District said, “By using design/build, our district was able to successfully complete three projects that were produced on time and on budget, with an estimated savings of $2,600,000 to taxpayers. I’m pleased that the Governor signed Senator Simitian’s bill because now other community college districts will benefit from this streamlined process.”

Schools have typically been built using a “design/bid/build” method in which separate contracts are awarded for architectural services, for engineering services, and for construction.  In practice, this method sometimes sets up an adversarial relationship between the architect, engineer, and construction contractor and can slow down construction.

Simitian added, “We have to find ways to maximize our limited dollars, time and resources.  Design/build may not be right for every project, but this new law will allow our community colleges and K-12 schools to pick the method that best meets their needs, which is a step in the right direction.”

For more information on SB 614, visit