Renovations continue for another year

White Library planned for completion in late 2023, set to open in spring 2024

In 2014, Del Mar College District taxpayers voted to approve a $157 million bond to fund capital improvements on the Heritage and Windward Campuses. Nine years later, construction crews are still hard at work trying to turn those plans into reality.

The most prominent area of construction work currently ongoing at Del Mar College is Heritage Campus’ White Library. 

The $21.1 million renovation began construction in the summer of 2021 and is expected to be completed Dec. 31, 2023, according to Del Mar College’s Department of Physical Facilities. The White Library and its accompanying parking lot will be open in time for the spring 2024 semester, assuming there are no unexpected delays due to weather or logistical issues.

The completion of the newly renovated White Library is much anticipated by students and staff alike, as the construction has disrupted many of the routines and activities both had grown accustom to. 

Gabriella Ramirez, a Collegiate High School student, is one of many students who have been effected by the construction. 

“My freshman year, I would go to the library to study and print out paperwork, and with it not being open, it has been difficult to do things,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez will graduate before the reopening of the library, but for those students who will get a chance to experience it, the renovations will establish a new normal for campus life.

The renovated library will include a dedicated recreation space for studying and relaxation on the first floor. The first floor will also include a coffee bar. 

Multiple of the college’s Heritage Campus student services will be located on second and third floors of the White Library. These services will include the IT Help Desk and the Stone Writing Center. They will also include a number of classrooms as well as a presentation space.

The fourth floor will be home to much of the library’s book collection. This floor will also include work space designed for creative projects and audiovisual studios. The remainder of the library’s collection will be found on the fifth floor, alongside study space for students. The fifth floor will have windows around the whole of the building, giving a view of the surrounding cityscape.

The renovation is intended to “provide students with a space that is more modern, including the look and feel as compared to the original space,” according to the Department of Physical Facilities.

Library staff, such as Library Campus Assistant Daniel Cayce, are also looking forward to the new space and the fresh environment: 

“Everything was so old beforehand. Seeing it redone is going to be nice, I think,” Cayce said.

After the completion of the White Library’s renovations, work will not stop on Heritage Campus as Del Mar College also has plans to renovate the Memorial Classroom Building and the Harvin Student Center.

The college’s Business Office recieved bids for the renovations on Jan. 17. These bids will be reviewed and information will be presented to the Board of Regents during its Feb. 14 meeting.

Multiple parking lots have been closed down for use by the construction crews. These include the White Library parking lot, the Fine Arts Music Building parking lot along Ayers Street, and the parking lot between the Richardson Performance Hall and the Memorial Classroom Building.

While the parking lot by the Memorial Classroom Building will remain closed for some time in anticipation for the Harvin Center renovations, the White Library parking lot is expected to open alongside the library itself and the Ayers Street parking lot is planned to open in the fall of 2023.

All parking lots will recieve repairs before reopening for student and staff use.

Beyond Heritage Campus, the newly constructed Oso Creek Campus on Corpus Christi’s southside officially opened in full this past month.

The Oso Creek Campus has been much anticipated since the district taxpayers approved a $139 million bond for the project in 2016. The first campus to be added to the college in over 60 years, construction and development of Oso Creek was planned in phases, of which Phase I has been completed.

Phase I of construction includes many of the campus’s primary buildings, such as the STEM Building, the Culinary Arts Building and the Main Central Building.

The campus experienced a soft opening during summer 2022, with the first classes being held in the STEM Building. An expanded list of classes, including those held in the Culinary Arts Building, was offered during the following fall and the Main Central Building officially opened in January of this year.

As of now, construction by the college has stopped, with plans to begin work on the next phase as funding becomes available. 

Beyond the college’s develepments, Corpus Christi’s Regional Transportation Authority has begun its own construction in the area, installing two new bus stops, one on Yorktown Boulevard and the other on Rodd Field Road.

The city of Corpus Christi has also made plans to construct its new Police Training Academy at the campus, on which the city expects to begin work this month.

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