Butte collage

After weeks of spring masquerading as summer, mild days finally hit Chico. Unfortunately, rain also hit, but even small blessings are better than no blessings.

Take my word on that—I’m living in an apartment with no TV and no Internet. The other utilities are working, but I feel pretty isolated in this era of 24-hour news channels and World Wide Web connectivity. That should change this weekend; keep your fingers crossed for me.

The silver lining is I’ve eschewed any hermit tendencies. I drove up to Magalia just for the heck of it and, on a similar whim, attended Theater on the Ridge’s Saturday night performance of Don’t Dress for Dinner.

I’m not in the greatest hurry to head home every day. So, while visiting Butte College on a cool, damp day, I accepted Lisa DeLaby’s offer of a late-afternoon tour.

DeLaby is the college’s public-relations and marketing manager. We might have taken a golf cart, but a fish-tail wipeout wouldn’t leave the best impression. We took her car.

See, you need either a vehicle or a brisk walking pace to take in Butte College. It sits on more than 900 acres in a wildlife preserve.

The campus has a curious mix of design styles, primarily because of a recent bond measure that has funded fresh construction. You’ll see portables and retro buildings near sparkling new edifices, such as the Learning Resource Center (an architectural sibling of Butte’s Chico Center). A similar structure houses nursing and EMT programs, with rooms designedfor true-to-life simulations.

In the same vein, the college has a four-story fire tower and a vehicular-pursuit track. There’s also a vineyard, a solar-panel farm, a nature trail, a nursery, a shop for repairing heavy equipment, an automotive technology center …


There’s a lot to see at Butte College. On a mild, open day, check it out. Even if you’re not enrolled, you’re bound to learn something.