BC Hosts Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for New Learning Resource Center in Delano

BC staff, administrators and students standing in front of new building with a red ribbon

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Bakersfield College hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday morning for the newly finished multipurpose building at BC’s Delano campus. The ceremony marked a significant milestone for the college in its commitment to providing enhanced and expanded educational opportunities to students in north Kern.

The new Learning Resource Center is a 39,000 square-foot, two-story realization of BC’s vision to empower individuals within the surrounding communities by providing them with access to cutting edge facilities and a broad array of in-demand educational opportunities. The facility will house 13 classrooms, two of which will be for hy-flex learning, and two computer labs.

Kern Community College District Board President, Romeo Agbalog represents Delano and holds strong ties to the community as a resident and Delano Center alum expressed his enthusiasm for the positive impact this center will have on the community and local area students. “This Learning Resource Center exemplifies our commitment to advance rural education and to bring access to higher education closer to home for students in Delano and the surrounding communities. It will provide a hub for learning, career and workforce development, student activities and services, and community engagement while allowing students to receive services and instruction in their own backyard and experience savings through reduced travel,” he said. “Through expansions like this and with innovative access programs, such as Early College, educational attainment will continue to soar and positively impact our communities for generations, putting our young people and their families on a pathway to successful careers and bright futures.”

attendees listening to guest speaker during event

Rudy Salas speaking to attendees

The layout for Delano’s new Learning Resource Center incorporates dedicated space on the first floor for student services, such as a library, writing center, tutoring, and financial aid, while the second floor is dedicated to instruction space and faculty offices. The additional space will bring new programs and degree offerings as well, such as BC’s degree program in Construction Management, launched this fall which comes at the right time since enrollment at BC’s Delano campus doubled this year from last. 

Rudy Salas, a champion for education in rural Kern County, has supported Bakersfield College’s rural expansions and focused efforts on workforce development for years, securing millions of dollars in available funding in previous years to bolster the college’s initiatives, including BC’s HVAC program, only available in Delano. He says, “Investing in educational infrastructure for communities like Delano is an investment in the future of our larger community. This will drive economic growth, bolster community development, and inspire careers and futures. It is a step forward in ensuring opportunities are available for all, regardless of their location.”

The College looks forward to offering services that previously were only available at the main campus such as career advising, Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS), Extended Opportunity Programs & Services (EOPS), and the AB540 Student Support Program. It was also important to offer students additional comfortable spaces to study and thrive. The new LRC building library will allow students to check out books, study, and use computer labs, but also reserve private study spaces for group projects and study groups.

Additionally, one unique feature is the Exhibit area, which will showcase artifacts unique to Delano and artwork by local artists including BC’s Delano students and students from the area in K-12. 
Acting President at Bakersfield College, Steve Watkin is grateful for all who made this center a reality, stating “Our celebration today would not have been possible without the unwavering support of this community through Measure J, our dedicated faculty and staff, the commitment of our students, the support of fellow educators, leadership of the Kern CCD Board of Trustees, the vision and support of Rudy Salas and the legislators who supported the budget provision.”

In addition to remarks from Agbalog, Salas, and Watkin, guest speakers at the ribbon cutting event included BC’s Student Government President Cindy Ceja Miranda and Director of Rural Initiatives at Bakersfield College Brian Rodriguez.

BC admins, staff and students cutting the ribbon

KernCCD Board President, Romeo Agbalog, speaks to attendees