SCC Retirees – Brief College History

A Brief History of the College

1945 – 1965

Solano College had its inception in 1945 when the California State Department of Education authorized the Governing Board of the Vallejo Unified School District to establish a junior college on the campus of Vallejo Senior High School. Classes for junior college students started in the fall of 1945 with fewer than 100 students.

In the fall of 1957, the Governing Board of the Vallejo Unified School District voted to separate the junior college completely from the high school by moving it to a site on Mini Drive. Vallejo Junior College began offering summer classes in 1964, and enrollment increased to 1000 students that year.

By 1965, it was apparent that there were more advantages to a county-wide community college district, so the voters of Solano County voted overwhelmingly to establish such a district upon recommendation of the Solano County Committee on School Reorganization. At the same time, seven trustees were elected to the new governing board, representing the committees of the district.

In the short span of a year, the new board selected a new Superintendent/President, Dr. N. Dallas Evans, and then proceeded to name a committee of fourteen members chosen from various county committees to select a site for the new campus. An architectural firm, Johnson, Poole, Storm, Lillis and Smith, Architects Associated, was engaged early in 1967 to draw plans for the new campus.

1965 – 2000


Finally in mid-1967, the board approved plans for a 12.6 million dollar bond issue to be placed before the electorate of the county on October 17, 1967. The issue was passed with a record high vote in California with an 84% yes margin. The committee’s recommendation was to purchase the Smith-Martin property on Suisun Valley Road. The property consisted of 192 acres across from the Stonedene mansion.

The Phase I construction consisted of 10 buildings and the sports fields and swimming pool. These were the Library, Science, Business Education, Administration, Social Science-Language Arts, Math-Engineering, Cosmetology-Home Economics, Student Union, Physical Education, Central Plant and Warehouse buildings. Construction began immediately and the campus was occupied on February 8, 1971, at the current location on Suisun Valley Road in Fairfield. Student enrollment at the new location was over 3000 when it was dedicated in April of 1971.

Throughout the latter half of the 1970’s, construction continued at the Suisun Valley Road site with the addition of the Music/Little Theatre building (1974) and the Vocational/Technical building (1974). In 1976, the Horticulture building and Greenhouse were built. In 1978 the Health Occupations/Multidiscipline building and the Fine Arts building were constructed. By this time, the student population had grown to over 5000.

During the 1980’s, the student population doubled in size to 10,000 students by 1990, and it became clear that the District needed to reach out and expand its availability to the residents of both the South County (Vallejo/Benicia) and the North County (Vacaville/Dixon/Winters). In 1984, the District leased space at the Vallejo Library on the ground floor to provide the residents of the South County with five classrooms for instruction of college courses. By 1992, the student population had grown to over 12,000. In 1996, the District leased space on North Village Parkway in Vacaville (eight classrooms).

As student fees increased during the latter half of the 1990’s, enrollment numbers declined to about the mid 10,000’s and grew back slowly to the mid 11,000’s by 2004.

2000 – 2010

In 2002, the College Governing Board authorized its first bond issue in 37 years to acquire a permanent location on ten acres for its Vallejo Center (now located at 545 Columbus Parkway) and build a center in Vacaville as part of a master plan to eventually build a campus on 60 acres of land at 2000 North Village Parkway. The Measure G Bond was passed by voters in November 2002 for 125 million dollars and included renovation of the Fairfield campus. The addition of a new Student Services building and a Faculty Office building on the Fairfield campus and a new Aeronautics complex at the Vacaville Nut Tree Airport enhanced the renovations to each building in the District. The Bond measure work was scheduled to be completed by 2012. For additional information, please go to the SCC website at http://www.solano.edu.

Superintendent-President List

Since becoming the Solano Community College District in 1965, the college has had 15 Superintendent/Presidents (including Interims, Acting and Administrator-in-Charge).  Below is the list from 1976 onward.

July 1976 – June 1984, William H. Wilson, Sr.
March 1984 – June 1984, Marjorie K. Blaha, Ed.D. (Acting)
July 1984 – June 1989, Marjorie K. Blaha, Ed.D.
July 1989, Ione H. Elioff, Ed.D. (Acting)
August 1989 – June 1990, Otto Roemmich, Ed.D. (Interim)
July 1990 – June 1994, Virginia L. Holten, Ph.D.
July 1994 – June 2002, Stan R. Arterberry
July 2002, Administrator-in-Charge, James M. Bracy
August 2002 – January 2003, Armond Phillips (Acting)
January 2003 – December 2006, Paulette J. Perfumo, Ph.D.
December 2006 – September 2007, Gerald F. Fisher (Interim)
September 2007 – October 2008, Gerald F. Fisher
October 2008 – March 2009, Lisa J. Waits, Ed.D. (Interim)
March 2009 – June 2009, Robert Jensen, Ph.D. (Interim)
July 2009 – July 2015, Jowel Laguerre,Ph.D.
July 2015 – December 2015, Stan Arterberry (Interim)
January 2016 – Present, Celia Esposito-Noy, Ed.D.

If you have questions or comments, please write to Robert DaPrato, Liaison to the Retirees Association from the SCC Educational Foundation and Alumni Association at robert.daprato@retiree.solano.edu.  Thanks for your support of SCC.  Go Falcons!

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