With an overflow crowd of staff and dignitaries in attendance, San Joaquin Delta College officially dedicated its state-of-the-art Lee Belarmino Sr. District Data Center with a recent ribbon cutting ceremony. The data center is exemplary and is considered a potential model for other data centers in the California Community Colleges.
Slated to be the technological hub for the San Joaquin Delta College District, the Lee Belarmino, Sr. District Data Center is named to honor Delta’s Vice President of Information Technology, Lee Belarmino. Mr. Belarmino championed the center’s construction and design. Campus officials and guests commended Belarmino for his dedication to the advancement of technology and steadfast resolve to give the district’s students and staff the latest infrastructure/hardware and software advancements.
Keynote speaker Fred Harris, Assistant Vice Chancellor of California Community Colleges, commended Lee Belarmino’s vision, leadership and problem solving abilities. “You can’t celebrate the building without celebrating the man.”
Belarmino mused about the progression of technology at Delta College during his 25-year career. “Try to remember what it was like 25 years ago…during registration, our students would be lined up in the rain, or on a very hot day, in the sun. If our mainframe computer went down, that line went almost all the way to Pacific Avenue. That’s how much our students wanted to get into school. That desire still exists today.”
Belarmino admits he didn’t fully grasp the enormity of the internet revolution. “Today, you can apply to Delta College, pay your bills, take classes and earn your degree at without setting foot on campus. I don’t know if that’s good, but it’s pretty amazing.”
Belarmino is reluctant to guess what education will be like 25 years from now, but believes it will be based on a “Student Centered Learning" model, where students will have their own intelligent tutors. “Each student will have their own virtual ‘concierge’ that will help them navigate through their higher education and lifelong learning experiences.”
Belarmino explains that future service to Delta students and staff is a vital objective of the new Data Center. “The goal is to improve the delivery of technology services and expand our capabilities in order to meet the District’s projected future needs. We envisione a Data Center that will see Delta College through the hi-tech advances of the next few decades.”
The center will consolidate Information Services, Information Technology and Audio Visual departments in to one convenient location. This centralized location will improve customer service and communication among the college’s Information Technology staff.
Efficient use of energy is also part of the design. The computer server and network rooms are separate, allowing reduced cost for cooling. Both the electrical power and air conditioning run on a dual system that can work in tandem or individually should one system fail. To reduce cooling costs, the air ducts are located under the floor beneath each individual server rack, directly cooling the servers and communication equipment. In addition, the server and network rooms are lined with a rigorous fire-rated internal wall that also acts as a security barrier to prevent break-in.
The design also includes “Green Features” such as skylights, energy reduction windows, efficient water-use, recycled-source building materials and smart technologies. Belarmino believes Delta’s Data Center may become “a model for new data centers throughout the California Community Colleges.”
In this challenging economic environment, one of Belarmino’s goals is to eventually use the Data Center to host the services of other colleges. “My goal before I retire is for us to become a profit center, bringing needed revenue to the college.”
With family in attendance, Lee Belarmino summed up his feelings. “The naming of this facility is the greatest honor and most humbling experience of my professional life. To all the current and former IT staff … your contributions have been huge … your intelligence, commitment, contributions and most of all your sense of humor, are really appreciated. I hope you feel proud of yourself, because I am proud of every one of you.” <>
Jim Vergara is the Public Information Media Coordinator at Delta College. Vergara provided
the text and all photos for this story, except for the group photo, which was provided by
Stan Rapada, a Financial Aid Specialist and sometimes photographer for Delta College.