BC’s Learning Resource Center in Delano hopes to ‘transform lives’ with new opportunities | News

Sam Fried

Elected officials and members of the Bakersfield College community Friday tended to a seed planted last year on BC’s Delano campus. The seed came in the form of more than $14 million secured in 2021 by Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, for the college’s newest Learning Resource Center. The harvest is […]

Elected officials and members of the Bakersfield College community Friday tended to a seed planted last year on BC’s Delano campus.

The seed came in the form of more than $14 million secured in 2021 by Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, for the college’s newest Learning Resource Center. The harvest is expected to produce a 39,589-square-foot, two-story building containing classrooms, office spaces, a library and computer labs, community college officials said during a groundbreaking ceremony held Friday.

“These are the programs that help transform lives,” Salas said. “For all of our rural programs, for all of our small cities that sometimes feel like they are forgotten — they are not forgotten.”

The Delano campus offers many general education classes, said Kern Community College District Chancellor Sonya Christian, who also attended the event. However, students must travel to Bakersfield’s main campus for specialized classes. For many Delano residents, transportation can be a significant challenge.

Marcuis Mateo, 24, said education was always prioritized by his parents. He took classes at the Delano campus, but didn’t have a car to travel to the Bakersfield location on Panorama Drive. Mateo postponed finishing his education to save money for a car. This building aims to remove the barrier Mateo faced, Christian said.

“There are many other students like me here in Delano,” Mateo said Friday. “Students now and students in the future will have more opportunities, more access to classes and subjects here — here close to home in Delano.”

Furthermore, the building will host departments that support students taking classes, such as admissions and records, financial aid and counseling. Remote learning technology will also be incorporated into the building, according to a news release about the groundbreaking.

“By leveraging technology this way, BC can increase the impact of skilled faculty at existing locations while giving students the physical classroom and in-person learning experience without the burden of traveling,” according to the news release.

Salas added the building will tend to generations of students by ensuring their growth opportunities, and therefore is an investment in the community. Roughly 1,000 additional students will be served with this building, Christian added.

Doors are scheduled to open in fall 2023, Christian said.

“We want to send a message loud and clear,” said Jessica Wojtysiak, BC’s dean of instruction. “That college is for you. BC is for you and this building is for you.”

You can reach Ishani Desai at 661-395-7417. You can also follow her at @idesai98 on Twitter. 

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/bcs-learning-resource-center-in-delano-hopes-to-transform-lives-with-new-opportunities/article_bb980b58-a1a4-11ec-be8f-4fbf41d8e904.html

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