New Building Unifies Student Services
When the Lawrence and Alma DeRicco Student Services Building at San Joaquin Delta Community College in Stockton, California, opened last fall, the two-story, 50,000-square-foot building consolidated all non-instructional student services into one convenient location.
Funded by the $250 million Measure L Bond, the $25 million student services building was one of five California Community College projects selected to participate in a design-build pilot project. Thanks to the building’s successful completion, the design-build model is now an option for use on future college construction projects throughout California.
Designed to serve as a “gateway” to the campus, the site was previously a parking lot. It is one of several major campus projects slated for completion over the next year. The unique architectural design maximizes available space, includes a second-story terrace and adds a visually appealing addition to the existing landscape. Architectural features include clerestory windows and a concrete ramp, providing disabled students with access to the second floor. The building ties in to the campus’ traditional architecture through its use of color and finishes, including brick. The Tolerance Garden, conceived to honor the Japanese-Americans sent to internment camps in the Stockton area during World War II, was designed to fit between the building and exterior ramp. Landscaping includes bamboo and Japanese maple trees.
Soil remediation was required due to clay soils and a problem with water retention, a result of the campus’ location in the Central Valley. Other challenges included working with several major constituencies scattered across campus to ensure their smooth transition into centralized quarters. As the construction manager on the designbuild project, Kitchell represented SJDCC and supported the district in a variety of day-to-day issues, including working with vendors to coordinate furniture delivery, phone and internet hook-up.
A large cost savings proposed early on allowed the team to make a number of changes that enhanced the function and appearance of the facility. By using high-level drywall on the building’s interior, rather than the Venetian plaster called for in the original plan, the exterior plaster colors and finishes could be revised to meet the client’s preferences. The cost savings also provided funds for reconstructing and sealing the parking lot after discovering a moisture problem in the soil. The existing parking lot was removed, the soil stabilized and a new lot constructed. Despite these challenges, the project was completed on budget and schedule.
Other SJDCC projects in the works include renovating the existing library to create a modern, up-to-date facility and constructing a new math and science building.
“Kitchell has brought great value to all of our projects and saved us money. It’s refreshing to work with somebody who’s very client-centered.”
– Maria Baker, Director of Facilities Planning and Management, SJDCC