The Yosemite Community College District is “in the process” of purchasing land in Turlock for a future expansion of Modesto Junior College, district staff confirmed.
The district cannot discuss any further details of the purchase until environmental studies are completed and the sale closes, according to Nick Stavrianoudakis, YCCD Public Affairs Director.
Stavrianoudakis did, however, confirm that the land in question is located at the corner of Dianne Drive and Polous Drive, near the Turlock Auto Plaza on Fulkerth Road and adjacent to Highway 99. The YCCD is in the process of purchasing four parcels, totaling roughly 4 acres of land.
The YCCD has planned to purchase land in Turlock since voters approved 2004's Measure E bond. The district budgeted $937,185 for the land purchase as part of the $326 million bond measure.
However, no funding has yet been identified or allocated for construction of the proposed MJC expansion.
“There is no intention to build at this time, but it would be for future consideration,” Stavrianoudakis said.
The MJC Turlock campus will focus on continuing education, basic skills and vocational programs, according to YCCD. It would house a “state-of-the-art learning center,” serving residents of southern Stanislaus county and northern Merced County.
“A learning center in this area will greatly enhance our ability to serve the needs of students in the region surrounding Turlock, including Denair, Hughson and Hilmar,” the YCCD website reads. “… A new center in the Turlock area will highlight the importance of education and lifelong learning for residents of the surrounding communities.”
In 2011, MJC announced plans to open a Turlock Education Center on the California State University, Stanislaus campus. That project was silently abandoned, however, and the classrooms were never built. Both institutions' presidents at the time – MJC's Gaither Loewenstein and CSU Stanislaus's Hamid Shirvani – controversially left their posts shortly after the Turlock Education Center was announced.
The project was said to include two state-of-the-art, energy-efficient modular classrooms, each serving approximately 40 students. The center was intended to allow MJC to offer vocational and English as a Second Language courses in Turlock.
The classrooms were intended to open in Fall 2011. They were to be built with $900,000 in Measure E bond money – the same funding which will now be used to purchase land in Turlock.