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MJC purchases land in Turlock for expansion of satellite campus

Local Modesto Junior College students will eventually have access to closer resources as the junior college officials acquired land in Turlock on which to build a satellite campus although the exact use has yet to be determined.

The decision was finalized at the May Board Meeting for the Yosemite Community College District which includes MJC and Columbia College. With several other satellite centers in Patterson, Oakdale, and Calaveras, the Board of Trustees is now charged with determining what will be built on the Turlock property and how that campus will contribute to the junior college’s overall offerings.

“At this point we’re studying to try to develop a process for all satellite campus development,” said Trustee Abe Rojas of Area 3, which includes areas Turlock, Chatom, Keyes, Denair and Hughson. “My goal originally was to find the property and have the district acquire it when I was pushing for Measure E so that we in Turlock could participate in that project.”

Approved by voters in 2004, Measure E is a multi-year and campus-wide evaluation of existing facilities as well as potential construction and renovation projects for projected growth.

The newly acquired land is just over four acres and located at the intersection of Fulkerth Road and Dianna Drive providing easy access from Highway 99. While there is no date slated for development the land does already have the necessary infrastructure for building including water and sewer, as well as nearby paved roads. According to Rojas, the state budget has not allotted much in the way of construction funds so new development would come out of pocket and it will likely be 10 years or more before ground is broken.

“My hope is that in the future, depending on what the needs are for the college, that we be able to find interest from some of the local businesses in the community and maybe develop that educational site in partnership in the future,” said Rojas, noting that community participation would speed the process along. “For now, I don’t see anything happening in the immediate future.”