VVC trustees discuss plans for new stadium and conference center

VICTORVILLE — The Victor Valley College Board of Trustees discussed a proposal to renovate the college’s football field and build an adjacent multi-purpose conference center during their meeting on March 12.

Director of Facilities, Construction, and Contracts Steve Garcia presented trustees with conceptual plans and renderings of the project, which is estimated to cost $20 million.

According to the plans, new stadium seating would fit 5,000 people — 3,500 on the home side and 1,500 on the visiting side. Plans also include the re-crowning of the field and the installation of a synthetic track, new sod turf, stadium lighting, and a sound system.

The conference center would be built overlooking the field and could be used to hold 500 to 600 people for various college and community events.

Trustees Brandon Wood and Joseph W. Brady both commented that they’d like to “go big” and plan everything carefully to best meet the needs of the local community.

“If we’re going to do it, let’s do it in a way that is lasting, that is going to be functional for many, many years, and that is bigger than what we need it to be today,” Wood said. “I think it would be nice to see a full parking lot and have sold out football games and half the people in the stands are High Desert residents who are just coming to have a good time.”

Brady said the addition of a new conference center “would bring the whole valley together.”

“Let’s be sure we really take everything into account — that there are enough bathrooms and things like that — because we will have enough events here that we want to be sure it’s user-friendly and people want to come back,” Brady said. “I think we have a duty to our students … and we want to keep them here and we want to have events here.”

Wood also pointed out that he previously stated he would not support the construction of a new stadium and conference center until the college moved forward with a “One Stop” building, which VVC broke ground on in June 2018. The “One Stop,” which will consolidate student services (including admissions, counseling, and financial aid) in one building, is scheduled to open in Fall.

Garcia said construction of the stadium and conference center could begin within three years. He also noted that the stadium is not only for athletic events, calling it “an outdoor classroom.”

“It will be used continuously, and it’s all about student success,” Garcia said. “It’s about the image of the college. It’s a complete campus component.”