A few yards behind the main office of the DRC is a wire fence covered in a blue, plastic tarp. Palomar has been in the midst of a renovation over the past year, and this shady back corner of campus is no exception.
For some students, the construction is a noisy, disruptive nuisance. However, behind this blue cover construction continues on much needed improvements to the Disability Resource Center.
The center offers 11 classes, and both the general population and students with disabilities are eligible to enroll in them. The DRC focuses its supplemental classes on math and English instruction. Some of the most helpful features of the DRC are the resources they offer for test taking and academic advising. The DRC also helps students who are deaf or vision impaired with adapted computers, assisted listening devices, and interpreters.
In addition to the learning resources, the DRC also provides disability testing to determine if students are eligible to receive the services they offer. Palomar hopes that with the new and expanded center, the college will be able to reach more students who can benefit from the specialized instruction.
Palomar officials decided that the DRC was in need of an upgraded facility to better aid students with disabilities. Dan Dryden, the senior administrative secretary for the DRC, said that with the “impending demolition of the IT building, our current outdated classroom and LD facility will be gone.” The decision was made to build a new center behind the main DRC office.
The plans for this DRC remodel include a new classroom for teaching math and English instructional support classes. Dryden said the college is “working hard to serve more students and the need for basic skills instruction” and the remodel will help the college fulfill this need. The new center will hold at least 25 students per class—a big step forward from the old classrooms, which can only hold a maximum of 15.
The new classroom, which will be named the “DR Building,” will have a wide array of updated tech features that will better serve the students who depend on the DRC for supplemental learning. These updates include a Smart Board with overhead projection, new computers with special literacy software, and two offices for learning disability specialists.
Dryden said the new building will be “bright, clean, and much more accessible to students,” which is a breath of fresh air when compared to the old DRC building which Dryden called “dark and dingy” and “hard to find.”
As for the long-term plan for the DRC, Dryden said the plan is for the DRC to eventually move into the current library where the other student services will be. However, the old library remodel must be completed before the DRC can make its big move.
The project is slated to be complete by the end of the spring 2015 semester. Dryden said that the new building should be finished and ready for them to move in around May, giving them plenty of time to get situated before classes start in the fall.
- Aerial View Palomar College: Angela Marie Samora/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved