CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Envisioning a southside presence began in 2009.
Ten years later, Del Mar College’s Southside Campus Project is already underway with infrastructure and Central Plant foundational work (Project 1) and the DMC Board of Regents’ final design, budget and contractor approval to move forward with the construction of the Main, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and Hospitality and Culinary Institute facilities (Project 2).
On Monday, Dec. 2, Board members and College officials will hold a Southside Campus Project Celebration to mark the beginning of constructing a new era in the College’s history of providing higher education and workforce training in the Coastal Bend. Construction of a new campus hasn’t occurred in over 60 years since the College began building in 1958 what is now the West Campus.
“The Southside Campus Project Celebration is marking a historic day for Del Mar College and the community,” says Carol A. Scott, chair of the DMC Board of Regents. “We’re not just celebrating the construction of a new campus but also our building a new future encompassing higher education and workforce training in another part of Corpus Christi. This campus will feature the most contemporary teaching spaces for current and future generations, along with community-accessible facilities that will truly make this the community’s campus.”
In November 2016, Del Mar College District taxpayers approved a $139 million Capital Improvement Project (CIP) bond referendum supporting construction of the southside campus.
The Board approved the $6 million purchase of 96 acres located at Yorktown Boulevard and Rodd Field Road in 2013 after a Facility Master Plan produced in 2012 assessed renovation and expansion of current facilities and additional buildings on the East and West Campuses and a new southside campus as part of a 20-year vision and 10-year plan. The College identified more than $397 million in total facility needs at that time.
Development of the Southside Campus Master Plan used $1.8 million earmarked specifically for that purpose as part of the 2014 CIP bond referendum that taxpayers passed to address needs on the East and West Campuses.
Now underway and anticipated to open in 2022, the Southside Campus Project incorporates construction of 249,544 square feet of building space, including the:
Central Plant (8,631 sq. ft.) as part of physical facilities operations,
Hospitality and Culinary Institute (59,561 sq. ft.) housing ultramodern teaching spaces including kitchen labs, a coffee shop and a public-accessible restaurant/dining facility to provide students with hands-on, real-world learning experiences,
Main Building (80,437 sq. ft.) housing the library, student services, community meeting spaces, and a coffee shop, and
STEM Building (100,915 sq. ft.) housing the Architecture/Drafting Technology programs and Biology, Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing (bio-sciences) programs with contemporary teaching spaces, laboratories, and equipment, along with other STEM-related programs, including engineering.
In addition to the Centers for Excellence, the campus will provide core courses taken by university-transfer students, along with dual credit, developmental, workforce training, and continuing education courses.
“The southside campus features ‘Centers for Excellence’ with programs that embody the high standards that faculty and students have exceeded, putting Del Mar College on the map regionally and nationally across different fields,” says DMC President and CEO Mark Escamilla, Ph.D. “The new campus will give these programs the ability to expand and also address other educational needs as the southside community continues to grow.”
College officials estimate enrollment at the new campus being 3,500 students the first year. DMC fall 2019 data shows that 41 percent of students enrolled this semester come from southside ZIP codes.
Located on an “educational corridor” on Yorktown Boulevard, the southside campus will provide close access to four high schools –– Mary Carroll, Veterans Memorial, Flour Bluff, and London –– and is only 15 minutes away from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and 30 minutes from Texas A&M University-Kingsville.