Schools & Education

Planning continues for a Gavilan College campus in San Benito County

Fairview Corners project now in Phase One with groundbreaking expected next year.

While Gavilan College offers some classes in the Briggs Building in downtown Hollister, there are still plans to expand access to community college education with a new campus known as Fairview Corners.

To date, no construction has taken place at the location near Ridgemark Golf Club and Resort, but Phase One of the Fairview Corners campus is expected to break ground in 2020.

The building of the campus is funded via Measure X, a $248 million school bond approved by voters in November. Of that, $52 million is expected to go toward Fairview Corners. The first phase will include constructing a maintenance and operations building; adding portable classrooms for labs and career technical education; developing open space parking nearby; and potentially establishing a retail site. Any additional plans for Fairview Corners beyond Phase One construction would require more funding through another bond, according to statements from Gavilan College President Kathleen Rose at a May 10, 2018 San Benito County Business Council meeting.

Here is a breakdown of where Measure X funds are expected to go:

  • Gilroy campus: $125.5 million
  • Fairview Corners campus in Hollister: $52 million
  • Coyote Valley campus: $23.1 million
  • Districtwide costs: $28.4 million
  • Contingency costs: $19 million

More information on the allocation of funds can be found on Gavilan’s Measure X website.

Gavilan College Area 7 Trustee Irma Gonzalez, who represents San Benito County, recently told BenitoLink it’s important for the board to be “transparent about the process” regarding use of Measure X funds.

She said she believes the community needs to be involved and is eager to get San Benito County residents to join the seven-member, state-mandated Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee to monitor how funds from the bond measure are spent.

She added that it’s important to have local people on the committee “to ensure San Benito’s needs are met.”

The committee’s role is to inform the public about the district’s use of Measure X bonds; review expenditure reports and ensure Measure X funds are spent according to the purposes set forth by the measure; and present the board of trustees in public session with an annual report outlining their activities and conclusions regarding how Measure X bond monies have been spent.

All information about the committee, including criteria for membership and an application form are at the Gavilan College Measure X website. Committee members must be from one or more of these groups:

  • A student active in a community college support group, such as student government
  • The community at-large
  • A business community located in the district
  • A senior citizen organization
  • A taxpayer association
  • A support organization for the district, such as a foundation

In June 2007, Gavilan College purchased an 80-acre plot of land near Ridgemark for $8 million in partnership with Morgan Hill-based developer Dividend Homes. The purchase was made with funds from Measure E, a $108 million school bond measure approved by voters in 2004. Twenty-one million dollars was spent to build Phase One of the Coyote Valley campus, and no building occured in Hollister. However, the environmental impact report of 2018 for Fairview Corners has been completed, mitigation land has been set aside for the California tiger salamander and an Incidental Take Permit has been signed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Other related BenitoLink articles:

Gavilan College seeks applicants for Measure X oversight committee

Election 2018: Measure X

Gavilan president talks $248 million bond and local campus

Carmel de Bertaut

Carmel has a BA in Natural Sciences/Biodiversity Stewardship from San Jose State University and an AA in Communications Studies from West Valley Community College. She reports on science and the environment, arts and human interest pieces. Carmel has worked in the ecological and communication fields and is an avid creative writer and hiker. She has been reporting for BenitoLink since May, 2018 and covers Science and the Environment and Arts and Culture.