Giving back a priority

As the spring semester comes to an end and as we look toward the fall semester, we want to uplift new construction and repair projects on our campus – and celebrate what we’ve already built at Southwestern College with the generous support of our community.

Looking toward the future, it is crucial that we adapt to the needs of our student population. This requires resources to repair aging infrastructure on our campus and ensure that our facilities are well-maintained, but it also requires investments in new construction that can continue to provide an enriching environment for our students.

Dr. Mark Sanchez

There are a few major construction projects ongoing at Southwestern College: a new Instructional Complex, a new Student Union building, and a space for Landscape Nursery Technology. All three will play a pivotal role in helping our students through enrichment, education, and more.

The Instructional Complex, for example, will include a new state-of-the-art planetarium. It will also be shared with a University Center that will allow our students to pursue bachelor’s degree programs on Southwestern College’s campus. As a matter of fact, Southwestern College has partnered with Arizona State University-Local to offer access to Bachelor Degree programs to South County students. In addition, our new Student Union will house a cafeteria, bookstore, and office spaces for on-campus programming, such as the Veterans’ Resource Center, SWC Cares, and various learning communities.

Along with the new construction, we also want to make sure that our existing facilities provide the same type of environment and experience as our newer buildings. As such, we are also actively upgrading electrical infrastructure at our facilities, updating buildings to be more environmentally sustainable, improving roadways, and revamping some of our sports facilities.

While this maintenance and new construction will result in invaluable learning spaces for our students, we want to ensure that members of our community can also benefit from these resources. After all, it’s only because of our community that we can pursue these projects in the first place.

After local voters generously approved Proposition R in 2008 and Proposition Z in 2016, we have stewarded those resources to build state-of-the-art facilities across campus. These bonds allowed us to build a new Campus Police Building, Performing Arts Center, Institutional Technology Data Center, and Grounds Building, providing even more opportunities for learning across our district.

The effects of Chula Vista’s generosity didn’t stay within the city limits, either. Thanks to these bonds, we have also been able to build a Public Safety Training Center at our campus in Otay Mesa and a Plaza Building at our Higher Education Center in National City.
Bonds like Propositions R and Z also allow us to better repair and maintain our facilities, ensuring that campus resources and buildings are able to keep up with a growing and changing community of students.

It’s also our priority to give back to our community – and we want to give more than just our generosity. That’s why we are pleased that we can have such a positive impact on the local community. Between 2021 and 2022, Southwestern College added $447.5 million to our district’s service region economy. We also directly support one out of every 49 jobs in the region. If you live in Chula Vista, you can expect a $1.10 return on every public dollar you invest in our college.

Repairs and new construction at Southwestern College are exciting because they mean that we can better serve you – our community. It’s also a representation of our beautiful community coming together for the greater good.

So, whether you are currently a Jaguar or a member of our local community, I want to sincerely thank you for your support and dedication. Together, I know we can all create a brighter future with stronger communities and broader access to education. I look forward to celebrating future milestones with you all!

Dr. Mark Sanchez is Superintendent/President of Southwestern College.