Friday, September 14, 2007

SCC To Christen New Center In Vallejo

SCC To Christen New Center In Vallejo
By Nika Megino

FAIRFIELD - Solano Community College is spreading its wings across the county.

On Saturday, SCC will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new 40,000-square-foot facility in Vallejo. The facility will open to students in October.

It is important for the college to have facilities across the county so students can easily attend courses and avoid having to drive to the main campus in Fairfield, Interim Superintendent Gerry Fisher said.

"We're hoping (the center) will provide much needed local access for residents of the south county," Fisher said. "We think that's going to be a big advantage."

The $22.3 million center, which sits on 10 acres, will house 15 classrooms, two science labs, a conference room, a multipurpose room and a bookstore. The current center in Vallejo, which is located on the lower level of the John F. Kennedy library, didn't feature such amenities. SCC rents space for five classrooms in the library.

Adding the amenities will benefit student learning experiences, said Jerry Kea, director of the Vallejo center.

"It will be a tremendous support to south county residents and offer an opportunity for full-time professional students to gain the education they need," Kea said.

About 600 students take courses at the current center, Kea said. With the addition of seven more classes in the new center, an additional 250 students have registered for late-start courses that will begin in October.

"We've had a tremendous response, a strong response from the community with (late-start) classes," Kea said. "(The center is) going to be a tremendous boost to our enrollment and positive for the college."

A grand opening of the center, located at 545 Columbus Parkway in Vallejo, will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday.

While construction of one center ends, another begins as designs for SCC's new Vacaville center reach completion. The construction drawings of the center will soon be sent to the Department of State Architecture for approval, Fisher said.

The two-story, 37,000-square-foot building will be built across the street from the current Vacaville center - a rented facility that houses eight classrooms. Features similar to those added to the Vallejo center, such as science labs and a multipurpose room, are said to be included in the Vacaville center.

More instructional space is needed in Vacaville, said Delores Finnerty, the center's extended campus assistant.

"With the growth here . . . I think our campus is going to be extremely busy."

The construction of the Vacaville Center, which will sit on 60 acres, is slated to begin in spring 2008 and be completed by fall 2009, Fisher said.

Reach Nika Megino at 427-6953 or

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