New DVC art complex: the hopes and the budget

Jonathan Butler, Staff member

With a budget currently hovering north of $38 million, Diablo Valley College’s new art complex has entered the tail end of its schematic design phase, as key negotiations continue to unfold that will determine just how much space this money will buy.

Funded by Measure E, a narrowly passed 2014 bond measure that has bookmarked $450 million of bond revenue to be allocated across the Contra Costa County Community College District, DVC is to receive roughly $181 million to refurbish and renew campus facilities.

Within DVC, the new art complex will be the first of two new buildings that will transform the north end of campus.

These discussions have resulted in an initial design for “a space that is more efficient and also puts the relationships of different disciplines together in a more meaningful way,” says gallery coordinator Arthur King.

Professor Michele Krup said that they are “currently at 90 percent fill rate in our 2D area,” of painting and drawing and current studio classrooms, already narrow by design, have grown cramped enough for the department, “to add courses to the schedule,” for fall 2018.

Under the Art Department’s umbrella there is instruction offered in a number of different areas including art digital media, art history and two-dimensional practice. The current art building’s 1960s era design  has forced the arts at DVC to be located in “three separate buildings, in three separate spots,” King explains.

In designing the new art complex the steering committee has been careful to take into account the accessibility needs of everyone. With King stating how, “a workable safe environment for our students and faculty,” is their number one priority. That coupled, of course, with budgetary constraints caused by soil report concerns and cost increases.

Negotiations are expected to continue to address the fact that the art complex, as stated by Professor Toru Sugita, “is now $4 million over budget.” Decisions must be made and the steering committee continues to “(get) into the nitty-gritty,” of the planned complex focusing on details such as building exterior and floor specifics.

The DVC art complex’s planned completion is in January 2022, when the building will exude, in the words of King, “outreach, public visibility and just how open we can be to our community.”