Community members sign last beam placed on new Gavilan building

Camille Mattish


This article was written by BenitoLink Intern Camille Mattish. Lea este articulo en español aquí.

Gavilan College hosted a Topping Off ceremony Jan. 17 at the new campus at Fairview Road and Cielo Vista Drive. 

The ceremony marked a milestone in the construction of the new campus, where 80 San Benito County community members, including students, the Gavilan Board of Trustees and construction workers, signed the last beam to be placed on the new college’s main building.

Gavilan President Pedro Avila said the project was “on schedule, on time and on budget.”

Community members who spoke to BenitoLink said they were excited about having higher education opportunities within the county. 

Area 7 Trustee Irma Gonzalez, whose district covers part of San Benito County, said the campus benefits the community by bringing “education to the masses.”

“We’ve been waiting for this since our first bond was passed,” she said. 

Last student body president of San Benito Junior College, Raul Gonzalez (far left) stands with first for new San Benito Campus, Fernando Gonzalez (far right). Also pictured Joe Paul Gonzalez and Trustee Irma Gonzalez. Photo by Camille Mattish.

Gonzalez said she was overwhelmed with emotion as she never dreamed there would be a community college in the county. 

“Without the community support, this wouldn’t be possible,” she said.

Attorney Elvira Zaragoza Robinson, who served on the Board of Trustees from 1990-2010, told BenitoLink it was “mind blowing” watching the campus being constructed. 

Avila told BenitoLink the campus “is a complete campus for the number of students that we have,” and that there will be a Phase 2 in order to increase the capacity for future needs. 

Community member signing beam. Photo by Camille Mattish.

The new campus is expected to open in spring 2025 and feature one computer lab, two science labs and six classrooms. The school is planning on providing nursing and phlebotomy courses in partnership with Allied Health.

The project is being funded by Measure X, of which $52 million was earmarked for the San Benito County campus.

Avila said the campus has eight classrooms and is the perfect sized building for current needs, but that “once we reach capacity, then we will start having conversations with the community about a Phase 2.

Gavilan College San Benito Campus master plan vision. Image from the Facilities Master Plan.

Gonzalez also told BenitoLink the district will need additional support from the community to add to the campus.

Retired San Benito County Superior Court Judge Tom Breen said that the location is bigger than he thought it would be. He added that “it has a beautiful view and it is spectacular.”

The BenitoLink Internship Program is a paid, skill-building program that prepares local youth for a professional career. This program is supported by Monterey Peninsula Foundation AT&T Golf Tour, United Way, Taylor Farms and the Emma Bowen Foundation.

Camille Mattish Education / Schools,News,Avila Construction,Cielo Vista Dr,Fairview,Gavilan College,irma gonzalez,Pedro avila,topping off ceremony

2024-01-19 18:35:06 , BenitoLink

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