As Berkeley’s Vista Community College prepares to break ground on a state-of-the-art building this year, the Peralta Community College District has announced the appointment of a new president for the school.
After a local, state and nationwide search, a search committee made up of students, faculty and community members chose John Garmon, executive dean of the Florida Community College Jacksonville campus, to become the new president of Vista.
The Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees announced the selection at its May 22 meeting.
“Garmon has extensive experience in pretty much all levels of community college administration,” said Peralta Community College District spokesperson Jeffrey Heyman Friday.
Heyman said Garmon will have his work cut out for him as Vista College, until now operated out of rented space in community centers in Berkeley and on the UC Berkeley campus. Vista “enters a completely new phase in its existence” with the construction of the new building, Heyman said.
The 145,000 square-foot building, scheduled to go up at 2050 Center Street in downtown Berkeley beginning this year, represents $35 million of a $153 million Excellence in Education bond measure passed overwhelmingly by East Bay voters last year.
Heyman said the new building will help expand popular programs in biotechnology, computer science, multimedia and information technology at Vista, which has approximately 3,500 students today and is the fastest growing of the Peralta Community College District’s four campuses.