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Los Angeles Community College District hires James O’Reilly to oversee its $6-billion campus rebuilding program

 
Los Angeles Times
 
The Los Angeles Community College District on Wednesday named a veteran construction manager to oversee its $6-billion campus rebuilding program, which has been criticized for poor planning, questionable spending and lax oversight.

The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the appointment of James D. O’Reilly as executive director of facilities planning and development. He will assume the post April 2. His salary has not yet been confirmed.

The appointment comes a year after the position was vacated by Larry Eisenberg, who was suspended and given a one-year termination notice during which he collected his $211,000 salary and other benefits. That arrangement ended March 14.

Eisenberg’s deputy, Thomas Hall, had served as the interim facilities chief.

O’Reilly, 42, is vice president of the Parsons Corp, a Pasadena-based engineering and construction firm. He had been serving as a program director in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, directing construction projects for that nation’s ministries of housing and education. He also previously served as director of new construction for the Los Angeles Unified School District’s $28-billion facilities program.

“We are fortunate to have found a person with Jim’s impressive experience and success in handling large-scale building programs and working with educational institutions,” Chancellor Daniel LaVista said in a statement.

The district's rebuilding project was the focus of a Times series last year detailing mismanagement, cost overruns, delays and shoddy work during an ambitious campaign to modernize the district’s nine aging campuses using bond money approved by voters in 2001, 2003 and 2008.
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