Gavilan trustees discuss Hollister education center

Gavilan College President Steve Kinsella speaks during the grand opening for the Gavilan College Veterans Resource Center Nov. 4, 2014.

Gavilan College trustees discussed the process for the development of an education center in San Benito County, during a board meeting last month.
“The item before you is an information item for taking the discussion for a San Benito County educational center to the next step,” said Fred Harris, the vice president of administrative services, in a recording of the meeting obtained by the Free Lance.
The first phase of an educational center would involve 25,000 square feet of space, an expansion from what the community college uses at the Briggs Building in downtown Hollister, Harris explained during the April 12 board meeting. The goal would be to increase the number of full time equivalent students in the area to at least 500 full-time equivalent students, which would qualify the site for state recognition, Harris said.
Trustees discussed the need to formalize the programs that would be offered at the site, which would influence the kinds of facilities that would be needed.
“The big elephant in the room is always the cost,” said Trustee Kent Child, who represents Hollister. “Do you begin to have one of each at each of three locations? Or one in one location and have students go from Morgan Hill to Hollister?”
Child taught at the Briggs Building in downtown Hollister and had students coming from Morgan Hill, Cabrillo College and Hartnell College because they needed a particular class and it was the only time they could take it, he said.
“But we need to start looking at which magnet programs are going to be held and where to build on the general ed. (classes), which is probably 80 percent of what we offer,” he said.
Community members Ray Lompa and Keith Snow spoke during public comment. Lampa recommended the board keep the facilities simple and focus on the education of students.
“Let’s get down to the facts,” he said. “You’re there to teach the kids and you don’t have to have a bunch of money spent on land and buildings.”
The next board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Briggs Building, in Hollister.

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