Four properties identified as potential sites for college

After asking the public to submit potential properties for the site of the new Oakhurst Community College Center, 11 sites in the Mountain Area have been evaluated by district officials with four of the sites being identified for additional study as potential locations for the campus.

The funds for the new campus are coming from Measure C, the $485 million bond that nearly 65% of voters approved in June, 2016, to improve facilities in the district, including $25 million for construction of a permanent Oakhurst campus on a minimum of 15 acres.

The new campus will replace the temporary classrooms and offices on 2.7 acres at the corner of Crane Valley Road (426) and Civic Circle Loop behind Rite Aid.

The 11 sites in and around Oakhurst were evaluated based on input from student and community surveys and community workshop feedback. The input received was the basis for the site selection criteria, which resulted in an emphasis placed on access by both private and public transportation, food services, and emergency services.

The initial evaluations also included the existing terrain, slope changes, trees, and the ease, or difficulties, of grading the site to meet ADA standards.

The next phase of the process will provide a more in-depth evaluation of the four properties that will include cost and the review of property studies, including environmental, biological, archeological, and drainage.

Scott O’Dell and his staff at Odell Planning and Research in Oakhurst are currently reviewing the sites and the administration will make a recommendation to the State Center Community College District Board of Trustees in the fall.

Although the specific locations or the owners of the four sites being considered for the college are not currently being released by SCCCD, the district will obtain additional community input regarding the sites before any recommendations are made to the district board of trustees.