New Center Promises One-Stop Services for Shasta College’s Veterans

Editor's note: If you appreciate being able to read posts like this one, and want to ensure ANC's ability to provide more content like this, please click here to demonstrate your support and become a paid subscriber.

A Monday morning ceremony will mark a sizable step forward in providing services and support for the approximately 350 veterans attending Shasta College.

The 10 a.m. groundbreaking ceremony represents a green light for construction of the 2,700-square-foot Veterans Support and Success Center.

According to Becky McCall, the associate dean of student services, when construction is completed in the spring of 2020, the center will offer veterans and their families access to a computer lab, quiet study rooms, financial aid and academic counselors and an office dedicated to other veteran-related services as needed.

“It’ll be kind of a one-stop shop for veterans; a place where they can feel safe, do homework, get tutoring” and be able to meet as needed with Veterans Administration representatives and other service providers “so they don’t have to hop around,” McCall said.

Joe Wyse, the superintendent and president of Shasta College, said the community college has had a veterans service center on campus for years, “but it never felt adequate to me.” When Shasta-Tehama-Trinity Joint Community College District trustees began contemplating Measure H, a $139 million bond measure approved by voters in 2016, improving services for student veterans “became a good rallying point for us,” Wyse said.

With construction slated to begin this month, Wyse said the faculty, administration and trustees are “so grateful that the community shared in that vision, and we’re honored to have the opportunity to better meet the needs of those who served our country in this centralized facility.”

James Konopitski, an Air Force veteran now working in the college’s admissions and records department, offered a testimonial to the Veterans Support and Success Center.

“I have personally studied student veterans at community colleges in both research and real-world practice, I’ve worked alongside veterans in the community college system and I am a veteran that was once a student veteran. The new center is focused on providing that communal transition into a place that is accepting and understanding, which our veterans need in this country.

“It will be a place of both educational business and camaraderie, which is essential to all our veterans. This unique space will show our veterans that the value of their success in education translates directly to the high value they have in our community. Our veterans earned our commitment to make sure we provide them the space for their educational and career success,” Konopitski said.

Wyse said a companion project, currently in the design phase, will add veterans services on the Tehama satellite campus in Red Bluff.

The first improvement funded by the bond measure—a pair of fire training towers that make up Phase I of Shasta College’s Regional Public Safety Training Center—was unveiled earlier this year. In addition to the veterans center, other Measure H-funded projects include a computer and information systems center on the Redding campus to help fill out the technical education quad and a 1.6-megawatt solar panel array on the east parking lot. When completed and linked with the existing 1-megawatt solar field, the Redding campus will be able to generate 80 percent of its energy needs, Wyse said.

Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony will be held in the Campus Quad, in front of the Veterans Grove. Parking will be available in the North parking lot, and no parking permit will be required in that lot for the morning of this event.

For more information, visit www.shastacollege.edu or contact the Shasta College Bond Program Office at (530) 242-7747.

Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at jonpaullewis@gmail.com.
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

4 Responses

  1. R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

    It’s awesome that a local public institution, Shasta College, is providing these comprehensive services to our local vets and their families. As a 1978-82 Navy vet, I returned to Redding and no such services existed. Vets need time to adjust to civilian life, and working on their post secondary eduction requirements is the perfect way to spend that time.

  2. Avatar Candace C says:

    Very, very cool.

  3. Thanks, Jon, for this story about this much-needed program and facility. Hats off to Shasta College for making this a priority.

    • Just a reminder that this morning at 10 a.m. is the ground-breaking for this facility in the Campus Quad, in front of the Veterans Grove. Parking will be available in the north parking lot, and no parking permit will be required in that lot for the morning of this event.

      This is an especially good time to be a veteran at Shasta College.