Major upgrades coming to common spaces

Students to see revitalized Danner, bookstore spaces after in-progress upgrades

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Construction is underway in the Delta College bookstore. The bookstore will be renovated, complete with new carpet, counters, and paint. Photo by Hannah Workman.

Delta College is aiming to enhance the student experience by refreshing and revitalizing student spaces on campus.

At the Sept. 1 Board of Trustees meeting, an update on the Danner Revitalization project was provided by Michael Williams, Auxiliary Services Operations Supervisor, Chelsy Pham, Director of Information Technology and Data Center Services, and Stacy Pinola, Acting Director of Facilities, Planning, and Management.

The Revitalization Committee, which includes Williams, Pham, and Pinola, is spearheading the effort to provide enhancements to Danner Hall, Locke Lounge, the Goleman Café, and the bookstore.

“The idea to revitalize student spaces started with Professor Kathleen Bruce working with a couple of students in the Associated Students of Delta College (ASDC), one of which was Colm Fitzgerald,” Williams said. “The conversation was initially focused on the food insecurities of our students.”

After this conversation, Williams said, the ASDC conducted a campus-wide student survey and followed up by holding a forum for students to discuss issues pertaining to food insecurity and the lack of student spaces in October 2019.

In the student survey, it was found that students wanted affordable food options, brighter lighting, electric charging outlets, painted walls with art such as murals or photography, new flooring, and lounge furnishing in student spaces.

The results were shared with Superintendent/President Dr. Omid Pourzanjani.

When it became clear that students weren’t happy with what was being provided, Pourzanjani asked which faculty would be interested in joining a committee to revitalize student spaces and work directly with students to accommodate needs.

Williams said it was important for him to become involved with the project because he is aware of how beneficial it is for students to have spaces on campus where they could feel safe and spend time with friends.

“Campus life creates a sense of belonging, ownership, pride, and translates to greater success,” he said. “Every student has their own story, but if students can meet people that share the same goal, they are more likely to challenge each other to reach them.”

Pham added that it could help improve students’ mental health.

“People are social by nature,” she said. “Having a space to come together, hang out, or study can support mental wellness, and as a result, help students do better in school, which translates to broader career opportunities.”

One of the spaces the committee is planning to add on campus is a gaming lounge.

Members of the ASDC, Middle College, and IT department came together to conceptualize a design for the gaming lounge, which would include a secure online gaming station, gaming consoles area, and multifunctional tables for group study and board games.

In addition to the gaming lounge, new video equipment will be installed in Danner Hall and Locke Lounge for students, staff, and faculty to hold large meetings, Pham said.

New paint and new furniture will be added to Danner Hall and Locke Lounge in order to create a welcoming atmosphere.

The bookstore will also be seeing changes to better accommodate the needs of students.

According to Pinola, construction in the bookstore has already begun.

“Our bookstore hasn’t been modernized in 30 years,” Williams said. “The flow of traffic and our ability to serve students has been limited. We are hoping to create a more open flow and a more inviting store, where students feel like we are here for them.”

Crews are also preparing the bookstore for new electrical and computer technology.

The project is expected to be complete by January 2021.

With these changes, the Revitalization Committee is expecting to ensure students will have additional internet access, study areas, and areas to decompress when they return to campus.

“Students will have a place they can call their own,” Pinola said.