After some delays, the Bakersfield College Arvin campus has a new timeline with no expected delays.
Construction for the new campus is set to break ground in August 2022 with an estimated completion date of February 2023. Officials look to host a grand opening in March 2023.
The new timeline marks the third time the project has been pushed back. Originally, BC officials promised to break ground in the Spring of 2018 and open a campus in 2021, according to a report by The Bakersfield Californian. Then the project got pushed back again in 2019, when BC said construction was set to begin in August 2021.
In early 2018, the city of Arvin gifted a plot of land to Bakersfield College to build the Arvin campus that residents spent years advocating for. With approximately 20 miles between the Bakersfield campus and the Arvin city limits, commuting to and from the college can be a hardship on the Arvin community.
The only other option for Arvin residents looking to take courses has been to take night courses at Arvin High School, where KCCD rents classroom space. According to Mike Giacomini, Vice President of Finance and Administrative services, Arvin residents continue to take advantage of course and service offerings in Arvin.
During the 2018-2019 (pre-pandemic) school year, nearly 500 residents were taking courses. Additionally, when counting the early college students at Arvin High, that number was revealed to be closer to 1,000.
“Ever since Doctor Christian took over the presidency, one of the biggest things she’s been trying to accomplish is pushing education out to the rural communities,” Giacomini said.
Although the campus won’t be available until 2023, a BC Arvin Hub will be available for Arvin residents beginning Monday, according to Giacomini. The hub will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. for services. These services will include counseling, advising, financial aid, access to computers for online tutoring and onboarding support throughout their time with BC.
“Understanding that there are challenges with people’s ability to travel, transportation challenges, fiscal challenges, food challenges and insecurities,” Giacomini continued. “That’s why we’ve done big pushes to do early college. That’s a primary reason why we’re looking to do something on this side of Bakersfield and Arvin gave us a great opportunity with the donation of this land.”