I missed yesterday’s event at Osprey, but today there’s a big CR sign across the street, the grass is being mowed, and something’s going on inside.

Here is yesterday’s press statement:

CR to establish new Southern Humboldt Instructional Site,

classes to be offered starting in fall 2010 in Garberville

SHUSD transfers deed to Garberville School site to college

College of the Redwoods has taken over possession of the historic Garberville School from the Southern Humboldt Unified School District (SHUSD) and will begin offering classes there starting in fall 2010.

“We believe that having a permanent site in Garberville will be a huge plus for the residents of Southern Humboldt and the CR District in general,” said CR President Jeff Marsee. “One of CR’s main priorities is providing better access to education for the communities the college serves.”

CR’s new Southern Humboldt Instructional Site, which includes three acres, was recently purchased from the SHUSD for $200,000. The CR Board of Trustees at its January meeting approved a plan to remodel the four classrooms in the building for a cost of up to $1 million. The renovation proposal came from the firm of JAG Architects, headed by John Ash.

The plan will provide four classrooms (two regular lecture rooms, one computer classroom and a conference/distance education space), a small computer laboratory, staff office space and a kitchen lounge for students and employees.  The building was built in 1939 and is excellent shape, according to Ash.

“The response from the Southern Humboldt community to this new site has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic,” said George Truett, the Southern Humboldt representative on the CR Board of Trustees. “We’re expecting significant student interest for fall 2010.”

The building and acreage, as well as the renovations, will be paid for out of Measure Q bond money. The residents of Southern Humboldt, it has been shown, will contribute about $2.5 million over time in property taxes to pay for the Measure Q bonds, a property tax measure passed by the voters of the CR District in November 2004.

Currently, approximately 175 Southern Humboldt residents take classes at the CR Eureka campus, a more than one-hour drive for many of them. Compared to other areas of the CR District and the state, the percentage of Southern Humboldt residents taking classes is low – just 29 per 1,000 residents. The state and CR District average is 67 per 1,000 residents.

“A new longstanding educational collaboration between our two educational institutions has begun,” said SHUSD Superintendent Michael McAllister. “The ongoing learning partnerships that have been established between Southern Humboldt Unified School District and the communities of Southern Humboldt County, and the College of the Redwoods will now be greatly facilitated through this transfer of school facilities.  Our students and community members will now have greater opportunities to achieve their goals of obtaining a higher education in a local community setting.”

High school students can concurrently enroll in CR courses and complete some of their course requirements before they enter college or career training programs – a significant financial saving to students and their families. College-bound students and residents will receive localized student services for financial aid, academic and career counseling, tutoring, as well as math and English assessment testing for placement in appropriate college courses. All students and residents will have access to CR’s electronic library services.

There will be many opportunities for economic partnerships and job training for the Southern Humboldt community with the permanent instructional site, Marsee added. These include:

Ø  Opportunities to partner with Southern Humboldt Community Hospital District and Redwoods Rural Health Center.

Ø  Enhancing local economic development by assisting new and established businesses in training employees.

Ø  Providing an entry-point to CR’s agriculture and forestry program, which features the sustainable organic farm at Shively.

Ø  Contributing to  local retail businesses such as restaurants, grocery stores, and coffee shops by bringing more foot traffic.

Paul DeMark

College of the Redwoods

Director, Communications and Marketing

www.redwoods.edu

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