SCCCD Chancellor Paul Parnell speaks at a news conference Wednesday morning. Photo by Donald A. Promnitz
Written by Donald A. Promnitz
The State Center Community College District has determined where it will build its new First Responders Campus, which is being funded through Measure C.
At its May 7 meeting, the SCCCD Board of Supervisors approved the purchase from Parga Partners — 42 acres of land located at 3276 E. North Ave. in Fresno, north of the community of Malaga. The District will spend more than $2.3 million in Measure C funds to purchase the land, while the project itself will cost $45 million. Escrow is expected to close on or before Aug. 5.
In June 2016, SCCCD passed Measure C, a $485 million bond to develop new and improved facilities at Fresno City College, Reedley College, Clovis Community College, Madera and Oakhurst Community College Centers and the Career and Technology Center. This campus is one of several projects in the District’s pipeline.
During the Fresno City College bond planning process, it was decided to combine police, fire and EMT programs into a First Responder Academy Campus. By combining the academies’ facilities, such as weight rooms, locker rooms, indoor/outdoor training areas and general classrooms, the spaces can be shared. Through program meetings with the faculty and staff, it was also determined that approximately 30 acres would be required to adequately house these academies.
“Some of our staff, in fact, today are here and I’m so proud of them, but they’re in terrible facilities,” said Paul Parnell, SCCCD chancellor, at the announcement this morning. “That’s not going to last. We’re going to do something about that, and this acquisition of this land is going to do that.”
Carole Goldsmith, Fresno City College president, added that the school supports 75 fire cadets and 150 police cadets. They’re also working with American Ambulance to provide more EMT training than ever before in facilities in northern Fresno. The new facility, she said, will not only bring them together, but also let them expand the number of training slots.
Phase 1 is planned to include master planning for the campus, permanent facilities for the police and fire academies, locker rooms and showers, classrooms, training areas, vehicle storage, a burn tower and a scenario village.