By Bill Gruelich
Public Information Officer
Victor Valley College, established in 1961, has undergone many changes since its inception. Most significant is student population. From humble beginnings, the college has grown from serving 500 students to more than 17,000 per year. Throughout this period, the college has managed to meet the higher education needs of the people of the Victor Valley. This educational experience has allowed students to reach one or more personal goals that include transfer to four-year colleges and universities , receive an A.A. or A.S. degree, earn an occupational career certificate,or access career training that expands his/her ability to meet current industry standards.
VVC offers Associate in Science and Associate in Arts degrees in 23 different disciplines and more than 100 certificates. Three new degrees have been approved for VVC by the Community College Chancellor’s office to include an Associate in Science for Transfer in Administration of Justice, an Associate in Science for Transfer in Mathematics and an Associate in Arts for Transfer in Sociology.
Today, the college’s budget is approximately $47 million after suffering more than $12 million in cuts over the past four years. The college employs 770 in faculty, management and classified positions. Year-to-date, the VVC budget has been cut by a total of $4.9 million ($2.7 million budget cut was imposed at the beginning of the year and two subsequent cuts in the amounts of $925,000 and $1.2 million, respectively, were implemented in January and February 2012.) This year the college also absorbed another cut of approximately $1 million due to the Redevelopment Agency’s tax revenue shortfall, which brings the total budget cuts to VVC for the current fiscal year to $5.9 million.
Cuts caused the workload to be reduced from 9,404 FTES (Full-Time Equivalent Students or approximately one student taking a full-time load of 12 credit units) in FY 2010-11 to 8,829 FTES in the current fiscal year as the result of the mandated budget cuts. However, VVC staff has continued the plans that were recommended by the Budget Committee, Enrollment Management team and approved by the Board of Trustees to generate approximately 9,600 FTES. The level of workload production contributes to two positive results: 1) more course offerings to local students and 2) the District receives an additional one million dollars in state funding for meeting the mid-size college standard. VVC will continue receiving the additional one million dollars through fiscal year 2014-15 because we met the mid-size college threshold this year.
VVC has used the budget reserves to balance the current year budget despite the large aforementioned revenue cuts. An anticipated current ending balance of approximately $14 million will help with the balancing of next year’s budget.
VVC’s main campus encompasses 253 acres and the Regional Public Safety Center in Apple Valley that encompasses 13 acres. The college dedicated the new Regional Public Safety Training Center on April 21, 2012. The center is located on the corner of Navajo and Johnson roads near the Walmart Distribution Center. The $31.4 million center is the first construction project funded by Measure JJ that was approved by voters in 2008. The center features a multi-agency learning environment to maximize disaster training by incorporating first responders programs that include Fire Science, EMT, Paramedic and Administration of Justice and Corrections.
VVC also owns 55 acres at Main Street and US Highway 395 for a future Workforce Development Center. Victor Valley College (VVC) has always placed a high value on workforce development through the support of strong vocational or career/technical education (CTE) programs. These programs are critical to the community and to the local economy, as they provide entry level employees and incumbent workers with the skills necessary to both improve their own standard of living, and to contribute to the growth of local businesses and industries.
VVC currently holds a 70.2 percent success rate for completion of credit vocational courses (2010-2011 year/ARCC 2012 Report).
At this time, VVC is focusing on building future enrollment for the Workforce Development Center by offering classes at both Silverado High School and Hesperia High School as a means to meeting current academic needs in this region of the High Desert. This project will be funded with Measure JJ bonds once the market improves. VVC serves a population base of approximately 400,000, and has more than 20 diploma granting institutions in its service area.
Construction Project Plans
Every year, Victor Valley College is required to update its five-year facility plan for submission to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and the Department of General Services. Once the plan is approved, it is presented to the College’ Board of Trustees for approval. Projects at the top of the list include the modernization of the music building, the construction of an additional Science/Health facility and the expansion and refurbishment of certain vocational buildings. The funding source for these top three prioritized projects is Bond Measure JJ, passed in November 2008 by the voters of the District.
Music Building Modernization
This project is currently underway and calls for modernization of 8,308 Assignable Square Footage (ASF) / 10,002 Gross Square Footage (GSF) comprising the existing Music Building built in 1968. This building has not been updated for 43 years. The project includes bringing the building into compliance with the ADA code, updating the sound system, improving room acoustics, updating electronics, and creating additional practice rooms.
For the fall 2010 semester the Music Building laboratories were utilized at 110% of capacity (Capacity/Load Ratio of 91.4%). Project Cost: $3,800,000 Net ASF: 9,708, Occupancy Year: 2014/15
This project constructs a new permanent 14,880 ASF / 21,200 GSF science and health/nursing laboratory building on the main campus at Victor Valley College. It will be in the form of a one story building located adjacent the existing one story Science Building. The original design for the Science Building was based upon enlarging the lab capacity as enrollments grew by adding an additional row of Life and Physical Science Laboratories on the west side of the building. The existing science prep spaces (lab service) are unchanged, as their location and present size were anticipated to meet this expansion.
Across a hallway from the new science labs are new laboratories and offices for the Health/ Nursing programs, including Skills labs and SIM (simulation) labs for training in various health specialties: OB/Gyn, Pediatrics, ICU, Medical/Surgical Patient Room, and Psychology. Each SIM Lab will have a control room and a group Debriefing Room using one way glass and video cameras for observation and critique.
The new building will be free-standing and will be situated to provide convenient access from the new science labs to the existing science prep spaces. Concurrently, the new nursing/ allied health labs will be close to the existing Nursing Building, which will continue to accommodate part of the nursing program. It will be remodeled as a future secondary effects project with some vacated labs converted to lecture space for these programs.
For the 2011 Fall Semester, the existing Science Building laboratories were used at 121.9 percent of capacity. The Allied Health/Nursing Building laboratories were used at 314.4 percent of capacity. In addition, the Health programs also used the Technology Center Lab room 143 and Lower Portable room 7 (at 176.7 percent of capacity). These use data demonstrate a clear need for additional science and health laboratory classrooms. Concurrently, classrooms on campus were used at 121.4%, representing an immediate shortage of 11,000 ASF, approximately 14 classrooms.
It will incorporate new labs in the health and science fields including:
- Allied Health
- Health Simulation Labs
- Earth Science
Project Cost: $14,400,000 Net ASF: 14,880, Occupancy Year: 2015/16
Expand/Refurbish Certain Vocational Buildings
This project reconstructs 2,862 ASF / 3,720 GSF of existing space and constructs 6,732 ASF / 9,357 GSF of new expansion or replacement space for the Auto/Diesel Mechanics and Welding lab programs on the lower campus. The project will also result in moving the Digital Animation Laboratory currently located in a portable building that occupies the location of the Diesel Mechanics Lab expansion. The Auto and Welding facilities are among the oldest at the VVC Campus and in dire need of updating/upgrading.
For the 2011 Fall Semester, the Welding laboratory was used at 150.6 percent of capacity, the Auto laboratories were used at 546.3 percent of capacity, and the Agriculture laboratory was used at 594.2 percent of capacity. Project Cost: $6,500,000 Net ASF: 6,732, Occupancy Year: 2014/15.