Bakersfield College unveiled plans for its long-awaited Arvin Educational Center on Tuesday night.
College officials shared architectural designs for the 27,300-square-foot center that they aim to complete by spring 2024.
The designs show a center with five classrooms, a library, a tutoring center, writing center, two computer labs, a laboratory classroom, a library, bookstore, staff offices and a room for the student government association.
Designs have been submitted to the state, according to Mike Giacomini, vice president of finance and administrative services. Once approved, the project will go out to bid, and the goal is to break ground by July 2022.
There will also be plenty of parking, so that cars aren’t spilling over into neighborhoods, Giacomini said.
It doesn’t look like much has happened on the empty 32.5-acre parcel of land across from Arvin High, but Giacomini said the college has been working to clear the way for the new center. Two houses, an abandoned water well, old water lines and pipelines have been removed.
When the city of Arvin first donated the parcel, the outlook for completing construction on the BC Arvin Educational Center was a bit rosier. In 2018, the college announced the center would open in 2021.
Giacomini said that there were a few issues: Over 50 easements on the undeveloped property held up the project. BC also took time making sure that the new center fit into the educational master plan. The resulting design is larger than the one proposed in 2018, which clocked in at 20,000 square feet.
“It took longer, but we’re ready to go,” he said.
The college has also developed the curriculum that will be offered at the campus, according to Jessica Wojtysiak, dean of instruction for rural initiatives.
The college plans to offer associate degrees for transfer in sociology and communication, as well as a certificate in general education for transfer to a four-year university. It also plans to offer certificates in welding and for emergency medical technicians (EMTs). It will also offer free non-credit courses in office skills and English for multilingual students.
College officials said that students in Arvin should not wait around for the center to apply for college courses. BC already has a presence at Arvin High School, both through its early college program and night courses.
Just one student getting their education can change the destiny of a family, said Kern Community College District trustee Yovani Jimenez. When the center opens, it will help to empower the community.
You can reach Emma Gallegos at 661-395-7394.