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UCSD Triton Pavilion – $16 million for planning after first $15 million failed

Littoral Combat Ships still not ready

“Immediately after removing the contractor, the COVID-19 pandemic began, and the campus elected to pause all efforts related to the Triton Pavilion project.”
“Immediately after removing the contractor, the COVID-19 pandemic began, and the campus elected to pause all efforts related to the Triton Pavilion project.”

Pradeep’s new palace

Will UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla have better luck the second time around building his botched behemoth Triton Pavilion, a pricey new office and alumni complex with posh space for university executives that has yet to get off the ground, despite years of hefty spending? “In 2018, the campus engaged a progressive design-build team to design and deliver a project referred to as the ‘Triton Pavilion for Student Resources and Community Engagement,’” recounts a report by UC’s Office of the President to the Regents Finance and Strategies Committee.

Pradeep Khosla knows a school with a god for a mascot needs a proper temple.

Regents approved $15.2 million of “preliminary plans funding” at a May 23, 2018, session, minutes show. But massive cost overruns ultimately tanked the project, per the latest report, prepared for the March 16, 2022 meeting of the Regents. “Upon completion of the initial planning effort, it became clear that the target budget and schedule could not be achieved, and the University removed the contractor. Immediately after removing the contractor, the Covid-19 pandemic began, and the campus elected to pause all efforts related to the Triton Pavilion project.”

Now the school, honing a more politically correct pitch, is seeking approval of more funding, this time intending to spend $16.3 million for planning and development before settling upon a final cost for the complex, to be approved down the road. “The proposed funding would allow the campus to complete preliminary plans, competitively select a Construction Manager/General Contractor, and confirm the total project budget,” per the report. The total anticipated price remains unknown, but is guesstimated by insiders somewhere north of eight figures. “The campus plans to fund the proposed Triton Center with a combination of State, campus, and gift funds and external financing,” according to the document. But just how much 2018’s false start cost taxpayers is not revealed.

“The campus anticipates returning to the Regents in fall 2022 to request approval of the full budget, scope, and design following action pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act.” Besides what’s called an Alumni and Welcome Center, the school now “plans to construct a new building for Student Health, Mental Health and Well-Being at Triton Center, which will include urgent care, primary care, wellness, and counseling and psychological Services.”

The university wants to create unspecified “campus support and administration” space and “retail, public realm improvements, and accessible parking,” as part of the deal. Notes the report: “The project would replace a collection of 1940s-era, one-story buildings currently occupying the geographic center of the campus, an area known as the University Center.” Though unmentioned by the Regents report, some of the allegedly dilapidated structures there house the so-called Chancellor’s Center, offices for the school’s top brass for years.

LCS mess

There are yet more knocks against the Navy’s so-called Littoral Combat Ship, these in a report last month to the House Committee on Armed Services from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. “The [Littoral Combat Ship] has two squadrons: LCS Squadron-One, in San Diego, California; and LCS Squadron-Two, in Mayport, Florida,” notes the document. “According to Navy officials, when crew members are unable to locate parts for maintenance and repair of the ship, they “cannibalize” parts by taking them from another LCS. Officials at LCS squadrons in both San Diego and Mayport reported that cannibalization has occurred to support the ships.

LCS Squadron-One: maybe that slogan should include “or not.”

For example, the USS Little Rock (LCS-9) had a faulty radar during its deployment, and the crew cannibalized a radar from the USS Detroit (LCS-7).” Both ships are Florida-based. On the other hand, per the report, San Diego’s training is better off. “The [training] facility in San Diego is operational, and as of the fiscal year 2017, crews were able to complete 55 percent of their training. According to Navy officials, crews currently attend training courses provided by a contractor to make up the remaining 30 percent. Navy officials told us they planned to have the training facility in Mayport fully operational by the end of the fiscal year 2021.” Still, the report says, “The Littoral Combat Ship fleet has not demonstrated the operational capabilities it needs to perform its mission. Operational testing has found several significant challenges, including the ship’s ability to defend itself if attacked and failure rates of mission-essential equipment.”

Worse yet, the Navy “does not have a comprehensive plan to address the various deficiencies identified during testing and deployments.” In addition, cost estimates of fixing the litany of problems are badly out of date, the findings show. “Without complete information on the cost of implementing the revised operational and sustainment concepts and the use of actual cost data, the Navy will not be able to analyze the differences between estimates and actual costs — important elements for identifying and mitigating critical risks.”

— Matt Potter (@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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“Immediately after removing the contractor, the COVID-19 pandemic began, and the campus elected to pause all efforts related to the Triton Pavilion project.”
“Immediately after removing the contractor, the COVID-19 pandemic began, and the campus elected to pause all efforts related to the Triton Pavilion project.”

Pradeep’s new palace

Will UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla have better luck the second time around building his botched behemoth Triton Pavilion, a pricey new office and alumni complex with posh space for university executives that has yet to get off the ground, despite years of hefty spending? “In 2018, the campus engaged a progressive design-build team to design and deliver a project referred to as the ‘Triton Pavilion for Student Resources and Community Engagement,’” recounts a report by UC’s Office of the President to the Regents Finance and Strategies Committee.

Pradeep Khosla knows a school with a god for a mascot needs a proper temple.

Regents approved $15.2 million of “preliminary plans funding” at a May 23, 2018, session, minutes show. But massive cost overruns ultimately tanked the project, per the latest report, prepared for the March 16, 2022 meeting of the Regents. “Upon completion of the initial planning effort, it became clear that the target budget and schedule could not be achieved, and the University removed the contractor. Immediately after removing the contractor, the Covid-19 pandemic began, and the campus elected to pause all efforts related to the Triton Pavilion project.”

Now the school, honing a more politically correct pitch, is seeking approval of more funding, this time intending to spend $16.3 million for planning and development before settling upon a final cost for the complex, to be approved down the road. “The proposed funding would allow the campus to complete preliminary plans, competitively select a Construction Manager/General Contractor, and confirm the total project budget,” per the report. The total anticipated price remains unknown, but is guesstimated by insiders somewhere north of eight figures. “The campus plans to fund the proposed Triton Center with a combination of State, campus, and gift funds and external financing,” according to the document. But just how much 2018’s false start cost taxpayers is not revealed.

“The campus anticipates returning to the Regents in fall 2022 to request approval of the full budget, scope, and design following action pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act.” Besides what’s called an Alumni and Welcome Center, the school now “plans to construct a new building for Student Health, Mental Health and Well-Being at Triton Center, which will include urgent care, primary care, wellness, and counseling and psychological Services.”

The university wants to create unspecified “campus support and administration” space and “retail, public realm improvements, and accessible parking,” as part of the deal. Notes the report: “The project would replace a collection of 1940s-era, one-story buildings currently occupying the geographic center of the campus, an area known as the University Center.” Though unmentioned by the Regents report, some of the allegedly dilapidated structures there house the so-called Chancellor’s Center, offices for the school’s top brass for years.

LCS mess

There are yet more knocks against the Navy’s so-called Littoral Combat Ship, these in a report last month to the House Committee on Armed Services from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. “The [Littoral Combat Ship] has two squadrons: LCS Squadron-One, in San Diego, California; and LCS Squadron-Two, in Mayport, Florida,” notes the document. “According to Navy officials, when crew members are unable to locate parts for maintenance and repair of the ship, they “cannibalize” parts by taking them from another LCS. Officials at LCS squadrons in both San Diego and Mayport reported that cannibalization has occurred to support the ships.

LCS Squadron-One: maybe that slogan should include “or not.”

For example, the USS Little Rock (LCS-9) had a faulty radar during its deployment, and the crew cannibalized a radar from the USS Detroit (LCS-7).” Both ships are Florida-based. On the other hand, per the report, San Diego’s training is better off. “The [training] facility in San Diego is operational, and as of the fiscal year 2017, crews were able to complete 55 percent of their training. According to Navy officials, crews currently attend training courses provided by a contractor to make up the remaining 30 percent. Navy officials told us they planned to have the training facility in Mayport fully operational by the end of the fiscal year 2021.” Still, the report says, “The Littoral Combat Ship fleet has not demonstrated the operational capabilities it needs to perform its mission. Operational testing has found several significant challenges, including the ship’s ability to defend itself if attacked and failure rates of mission-essential equipment.”

Worse yet, the Navy “does not have a comprehensive plan to address the various deficiencies identified during testing and deployments.” In addition, cost estimates of fixing the litany of problems are badly out of date, the findings show. “Without complete information on the cost of implementing the revised operational and sustainment concepts and the use of actual cost data, the Navy will not be able to analyze the differences between estimates and actual costs — important elements for identifying and mitigating critical risks.”

— Matt Potter (@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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