Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Solano Community College Expanding

Solano Community College Expanding
East Bay Business Times - April 20, 2007
by Jessica Saunders

A $135 million expansion at Solano Community College will create capacity to serve 20,000 students, up 8,000 from the current 12,000 enrollment, in Fairfield and at expanded centers in Vallejo and Vacaville.

The expansion is being funded by the Measure G bond passed in 2002 by the Solano Community College District, which is effectively Solano County.

The original $124.5 million bond measure has grown to $135 million with interest and refinancing, said Gerry Fisher, Solano Community College interim superintendent.

"We gained about $10 million; that's the good news. The bad news is, everything costs a lot more now than when we planned this," he said.

The district has completed $7.7 million of projects on the Fairfield main campus and has another $33.6 million of work under way.

That includes the $22.5 million expansion of the Vallejo center from a 5,800-square-foot space downtown into 40,000 square feet of space on 10 acres at 545 Columbus Parkway. Another $45.9 million of projects are in the design phase, including phase one of the Vacaville center.

The Vallejo center, scheduled to open in October and planned to serve Vallejo and Benicia, will partner with Sonoma State University and the California Maritime Academy to offer four-year degree programs.

Solano Community College is preparing to submit plans for the 40,000-square-foot Vacaville center, which will serve Vacaville, Dixon and Winters, to the Department of State Architecture.

Approval is expected by late fall.

Projects under way or planned at the Fairfield campus include a new student union, a student services center and phase one of a sports complex.

With the Fairfield campus, the two new centers are expected to offer classes within a 20-minute drive of most county residents, Fisher said.

jsaunders@bizjournals.com | 925-598-1427

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