SCC Vallejo computer labs get a reboot

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Solano Community College’s Vallejo campus unveiled dozens of new computers this week in its recently renovated computer labs, promising fall semester classes in animation and graphic design.

Rachel Smith, an instructor of digital media arts, looked proudly at the rows of new desks and monitors Wednesday — the culmination of two years of effort and at least $200,000 in funding.

“These are some of the best facilities around,” Smith said. “We’ve had students come in and say our labs are pretty comparable to the state schools and certainly some of the art schools around here. So, we’re really thankful and lucky for these new upgrades.”

Although staff were still unboxing many of the labs’ 48 computers this week, Smith said she soon expects to see seats packed with students as three classes — Graphic Design 2, Animation Bootcamp and Design Bootcamp — get started in the fall.

The college’s Vallejo campus has had computer labs for years. But with no classes offered in digital art or design, Rei Leal, a multimedia lab tech/technology specialist, said he’d normally see only around three or four students in a room crowded with computers.

“We’re trying to make it a space to be used instead of computers just sitting here,” he said.

One of the two freshly upgraded rooms is dedicated to PCs, while the other now has Macs.

As well as providing more powerful computers, the new desks are more spacious than before. People with disabilities can now sit at any desk in the room, instead of being limited to a small number of wheelchair-accessible seats.

Smith hopes that the labs will empower students to pursue a variety of careers in addition to graphic design and animation, including user interface design, marketing, software engineering and product design.

“My goal is just to make this a facility where people can learn these skills and also be connected to a community that will help them get where they want to go,” she said.

The instructor said her Fairfield students have gone on to create logos and branding for the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation, the Vallejo restaurant Noonie’s Place and the Suisun Waterfront.

Now, Vallejo’s students will also get the opportunity to learn those skills.

“We’re just really excited about being able to have more of a presence in Vallejo,” Smith said.

The labs’ classes will all be hybrid and are still open for enrollment.

Graphic Design 2 will begin Oct. 11 and span eight weeks. Animation Bootcamp will begin Oct. 9 and last four weeks. Design Bootcamp will also last four weeks and will begin Nov. 1.

For more information, students can email [email protected]. They can also submit a form expressing interest at docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSePuTGxcXD2hBD20HT_o6eeK_34PpQOMEaIm51RJVZBugccnA/viewform?pli=1.

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