Delta looks ahead


Master Plan forums provide info, answer questions

Delta College has undergone some renovations in recent years, the campus has seen a complete overhaul since its building at the current location in the 1970s.

Now Delta is looking 20 years into the future.

On April 25, Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Matt Wetstein, introduced the Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP) during a presentation held at the West Forum on campus.

The CMP was developed by a group of 28 participants who consulted faculty and students to plan the needs of the campus and campus life.

The master plan project is aimed to address needs down the road.

“Think of the college 20 years from now … what would the campus look like?” said Wetstein.

The planning process involved steps to cohesively develop educational planning and facilities planning with the main focus of promoting student success.

“The main campus features buildings that are now 45 years old and need of refurbishment,” according to the draft of the CMP.

“The original layout makes people feel unsafe on campus,” said Wetstein.

With new buildings, technology, specific facilities for different needs, students would be provided with the materials and support to be successful on any Delta campus, as well as feel safer.

Accessibility on and off campus would be simplified. Danner Hall would remain, but turned into a student union.

“Danner would be a true student center with support centers and a place for students to hang out,” said Wetstein.

Delta College under its charter is a vocational school but has a small number of facilities specific to Career Technical Education (CTE) programs.

The redesign would have more CTE facilities to improve the connection of students to the community.

“All of this effort is being made on a redesign and it doesn’t look to me like they’re trying to develop the connection of this campus with the extended community that the campus is supposed to serve,” said Bob Bentz, former veteran counselor.

The redesign would make smaller work spaces in some areas that aren’t being utilized.

Faculty like Bentz see potential of the campus to provide much more than it does.

He graduated in 1972 from Delta College and 1980 from California State University, Stanislaus in 1980 by attending only one class on that campus during his time there because Delta offered classes for four-year schools.

Wetstein said there’s planning underway to grow the connection between the community and the college.

Already underway are programs with K-12 schools and Delta, as well as four-year institutions and provide employer-training needs.

While the main campus would undergo a complete change so will some of the regional centers: South Campus at Mountain House, the Manteca Center and the North County Center.

For Mountain House, portable classes would be replaced with permanent buildings and more facilities would be added to hold and create availability.

Currently the Manteca Center houses programs of agriculture and animal science. After redesign the Manteca Center would have a new barn and classroom improvements starting in the 2017-18 school year.

The North Country Center would be expanded because of now it serves in Lodi and Galt with rented facilities and classrooms and other schools. However, if enrollment doesn’t rise there can be a hold on any development in a permanent North Center.

Alone the CMP cost approximately $200 million that include collaboration of two different architecture firms. The redesign is going to cost the community a lot of money and some question where that money is going to come from.

“It’s going to be harder to get this bond passed,” said Bentz. “It’s going to be hard to convince people to do this because the last time they were not given what they were promised.”

According to Wetstein, not only local and state bond money will be used, but although other money will come from money saved for projects like this if there isn’t state bond money provided Delta will not have all of this come to life.

At the moment this is just a comprehensive plan and there is not exact number to how much this will cost.

A decision on the master plan will be made by Board of Trustees on May 16.