Monday, March 19, 2007

SCC's Newest Campus to Open Sooner

SCC's Newest Campus to Open Sooner
By Nolan Hebert/Times-Herald, Vallejo

Solano Community College's new Vallejo satellite campus will open in the fall, a semester early, because construction is way ahead of schedule, officials said recently.

Originally slated to open early 2008, classes will now begin mid-October and run until the end of the regular semester period. The compacted eight-week classes will meet for twice as many hours each week, said Gerald Fisher, Solano Community College interim superintendent.

Students studying at the current Vallejo extension, one floor below the JFK Library on Santa Clara Street, will move to the new site even earlier - sometime in mid-September - to help "debug" the building, Fisher said.

"Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing, all systems have to be tested to make sure they function at 100 percent," said Frank Kitchen, Solano Community College director of facilities.

The first regular-length semester will be spring 2008, and about 1,000 students are expected to enroll, Fisher said.

The campus is beginning to take shape, and construction is expected to finish sometime in September - five to six weeks early, Kitchen said.

Local representatives recently touring Solano Community College's Vallejo satellite campus were required to wear hard hats as they made their way through active construction.

Walls are up and starting to be painted. The skeletons of classrooms and lecture halls have been constructed and most have been covered with Sheetrock.

"It is a great first-class building with a great location, it's a great service to the area," said Mayor Tony Intintoli Jr., who was on the recent tour.

Located on Columbus Parkway, the new campus will make higher education more convenient for local residents. By 2010 to 2012, the facility could be home to about 3,500 students, Fisher said.

The 40,000-square-foot Vallejo Center will be five times larger than the current extension.

Funds from Measure G, a 2002 voter-approved bond, are paying for the $22.1 million satellite campus.

The Vallejo center consists of two separate buildings housing 15 classrooms, a large lecture hall, computer lab, learning lab, multi-use room, fine-arts facilities, faculty office space, and will have wireless capability.

Plans are also in the works to build a 60-acre campus in Vacaville, Fisher said.

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