Wednesday, 01 February 2023

College continues negotiations for Parallel Drive site

LAKE COUNTY – Mendocino College officials are working on locating a permanent site for the college's Lake Center, with a focus on a Lakeport location.


The college is considering a 31-acre parcel located at 2565 Parallel Drive in Lakeport and owned by Tom Adamson, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based developer who has proposed building a 130-lot subdivision on the site, as Lake County News reported in July.


In July, College Superintendent and President Kathy Lehner wrote to Adamson to express interest in the site.


Lehner told Lake County News in a recent interview that the college is still talking to Adamson about the land. In addition, the college's Board of Trustees held a closed session discussion on the property at its Oct. 10 meeting.


The immediate concern, said Lehner, is getting a new appraisal on the property, which Lake County Assessor's Records value at $1.5 million.


Lehner said the college's board wants to get to a point where they can agree to a price and make an offer.


The purchase process, which would be supervised by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, will be conditional upon a California Environmental Quality Act review and seismic testing, said Lehner.


Earlier this month, Mendocino College officials met with Lakeport City Manager Jerry Gillham to identify alternate Lake Center sites in case the Parallel Drive location doesn't work out, Lehner said.


“My intent is to identify something by the end of the year, Dec. 31, because we would like to get the final project proposal done by next July, and in order to do that we have to have the site,” said Lehner.


Measure W, passed last year by voters, gave the college $67.5 million in bond funding for 30 construction and renovation projects, including a permanent Lake Center.


The first Measure W Bond Program Quarterly Status Report, issued earlier this month, reported that, with the addition of state and other matching funds, the Measure W program has a total projected budget of $97.4 million.

 

Mendocino College's current Lake Center is located at a rented facility at 1005 Parallel drive.


The center serves about 300 “full-time equivalents,” which translates into more than 300 students when counting part-time enrollees, said Lehner.


The enrollment, she said, includes a “big mix” of adults seeking additional education and first-time college students.


Lehner said the bond measure sets aside $15 million for the land purchase, improvements and the start of building for the Lake Center.


“We may not be able to get everything we want at Lake in our first go around,” said Lehner.


If the land is secured, Lehner said the college will put up the buildings it can afford, which could include portables.


Lehner said the new center will allow the college to fulfill its plans of expanding services to Lake County.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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