Impressed with architects’ renderings and a video virtual tour, Del Mar College’s (DMC) Board of Regents today gave an enthusiastic thumbs up to the phase 1 schematic design and phased development plan for the College’s future southside campus.

Following a presentation by the team of Gensler and Turner Ramirez Architects at DMC’s Center for Economic Development, the Board unanimously voted to accept the design at their monthly meeting. 

“I’m really impressed with the work the architects have done,” said Regent Gabriel Rivas III, Board first vice chair. “We provided a vision for them and they fulfilled that vision. It really shows us that we’re going to get our money’s worth.”

Today’s presentation, the first of four design phases, illustrated the configuration of buildings, exterior features and locations of academic programs at the south side campus.

To be built on a 96-acre tract at Rodd Field Road and Yorktown Boulevard, the campus will enable the College to expand signature programs such as architecture, engineering, biotechnology and culinary arts with state-of-the-art facilities.

Also included in the design are facilities to teach basic core courses needed by transfer students, as well as developmental education, dual credit, workforce and continuing education programs.

The architectural team – internationally recognized firm Gensler and local firm Turner Ramirez Architects – went to great lengths to incorporate natural elements into the design, such as measuring wind direction and velocity and situating buildings to maximize breezes for students’ comfort.

“It’s going to be very exciting for folks in the community to see what’s in store at this campus,” said Regent Carol A. Scott, Board second vice chair. “This is really all thanks to the taxpayers who support Del Mar College. It will be a really inviting campus for our community and our students.”

Other notable design features are:

A second-floor community room that will be ideal for large meetings and presentations and available to the public; the room also will overlook a center courtyard.

The campus’s main entrance facing Yorktown Boulevard will feature a welcoming courtyard with pleasant views from the road, rather than a view of parking lots.

Classrooms will feature SageGlass windows with electrochromic glass that tints automatically to optimize daylight, reduce glare and manage heat.

A security facility in the center of the campus.

A library enclosed by windows with a fourth-floor terrace on the rooftop offering inspiring views of Oso and Corpus Christi bays.

DMC expects to begin construction of the south side campus in October 2019, with substantial completion by May 2021. Full occupancy in anticipated by August 2021.

Projected first-year student enrollment is 3,500 students, with 40 percent of those students shifting from DMC’s existing campuses and 60 percent composed of new students. “Right-sizing” enrollment on all three campuses – South, East and West – will ease parking issues on the East and West campuses.

After all four phases of construction are complete, the campus will accommodate up to 15,000 students. 

Voters approved a $139 million bond proposal in 2016 proposed by the Board to address the population explosion on Corpus Christi’s Southside. In 2015, 42 percent of DMC students lived south of South Padre Island Drive, and a 2016 study by EMSI Inc. shows that the population in Southside zip codes is predicted to grow at an average rate of 3.61 percent per year through 2020.