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Turlock Christian purchases MedicAlert building for expansion
A pending sale could see Turlock Christian taking over the MedicAlert Foundation facility in Turlock. - photo by Journal file photo

The former MedicAlert Foundation building on the corner of Colorado Avenue and Tuolumne Road will no longer be a hub for lifesaving services during medical emergencies, but rather a hub of academic success following Turlock Christian Schools’ decision to purchase and renovate the property for its new elementary campus.  

“We were looking into this in the fall and we have been considering for some time to be independent and to expand our school,” said Superintendent Karen Winter. “We have been growing in numbers in all levels.

“We are excited about the future and what God is doing for our school,” said Winter.

MedicAlert Foundation, which has been a part of the Turlock community for almost 60 years, announced the sale of the property earlier this year. The total facilities cost for Turlock Christian is estimated at $8 million, with $4 million allotted to the purchase of the property and another $4 million used for renovations and equipment. Through confirmed donations and gifts, Winter said the school has already raised $4.25 million for the purchase and project.

Upon completion, the renovated building will be filled primarily with elementary classrooms, although Winter said that the new property will also include an extension of the school’s preschool program and a transitional kindergarten program.

“We already get calls every day so we know we need more spaces for our students. We want to expand those as well,” said Winter.

In addition to a multitude of new classrooms, Winter said that the remodeled site will also include a computer and media lab, multipurpose room, library and robotics and technology centers. Students will get the opportunity to use interactive Promethean Boards in every classroom, as well as engage in Tynker programming and Ozobots robotics.

“The kids will be learning just a number of programs and getting advanced training which they love to do,” said Winter. “We think technology is very important and that’s why it’s implemented through all of the various subjects.”

MedicAlert announced the organization would be putting up the property for sale and looking for a new site early last year. MedicAlert’s Senior Director of Marketing and Development Justin Noland said the organization is still in the process of selecting a new site.

“We are far along in the process but we haven’t quite nailed it down yet,” Noland said. “We are staying in the area, but not necessarily in Turlock.

“When we put the building up for sale, we were hoping that it would go to an organization that was a part of the community and I believe we have found that with Turlock Christian,” Noland said.

Although none of the Turlock Christian campuses are sponsored by a church, this will be the first standalone campus, according to Winter.

“This is very exciting for our students, since it will be a way for our students to better demonstrate their school pride and show what they’ve been able to accomplish academically and spiritually, and the things they are doing throughout the community,” said Winter. “We have always been in the shadows a little bit because we have been on other people’s facilities, so it’s really exciting to finally have our own facility.”

Winter said that if “all goes according to plan,” the renovated site is slated for completion before the 2016-17 academic year. MedicAlert will remain at the site until a new one is selected.

Reporter Sabra Stafford contributed to this story.