Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Educational Undertaking

Educational Undertaking
SCC unveils master plan for Vaca site
By Ryan Chalk
Article Launched: 06/25/2008

An artist's rendering shows an aerial view of the master plan for a completed SCC Vacaville campus. (Ryan Chalk/The Reporter)

It doesn't look like much now, but Solano Community College staff broke ground Tuesday on a dusty 60-acre parcel in Vacaville which is set to become the crown jewel in the community college's system.

Across the street from the college's current facility on North Village Parkway, about 50 people made up of college faculty and staff, board members, local government officials, architects, and members of the community showed up to witness the first spades of earth moved in celebration of a new $27.2 million Vacaville Center.

"It's just the beginning of something special for the people of Vacaville and surrounding communities," said Robin Steinback, SCC's vice president of academic affairs.

Phase One of the project, which is scheduled to be completed by fall 2010, will include a 40,000 square-foot, multi-story facility which will allow the college to expand course offerings and student services to northern Solano County residents.

The first phase of the project, a two-story building on 10 acres, is funded by Measure G Bond funds passed by voters in 2002 for the Solano Community College District, which is effectively Solano County.

On hand for Tuesday's event was former Solano Community College Governing Board Trustee Barbara Jones, who flew all the way from Tennessee to be in attendance.

In honor of her many years of service, the building will be named after her.

"It's really exciting to see them moving forward," said Jones. "This is really going to be a cornerstone in the Solano Community College program."

The new campus will handle about 3,500 students and offer nearly every course in the general education catalog according to Gerald Fisher, SCC's superinten-dent/president.

With rising fuel costs, Fisher discussed the advantage of having an expanded campus in the north county to serve residents of Vacaville, Winters and Dixon.

"It fits so nicely with our concept of access to education within 20 minutes of everyone's homes," said Fisher.

The proximity to Biotech giant Genentech is also seen as a boon to the school's biotech program, added officials.

"The nice thing is that the students will be able to watch it," added Fisher, about the construction of the new campus taking place across the street from the existing one. "It's exciting for them."

Phase One of the SCC Vacaville campus includes a two-story classroom building scheduled to completed by fall 2010. (Ryan Chalk/The Reporter)