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Architect Paul Halajian (l) and Oakhurst College's Darin Soukup display a scale model of the new main building on the $25 million campus (photo by Leonard Andrenacci)

Community Gets Preview of New $25M Oakhurst College Center

OAKHURST —  The community got a preview of the new $25 million Oakhurst Community College Center at a public forum this week in Oakhurst.

Darin Soukup, Oakhurst Community College Center director, and project architect Paul Halajian were both on hand at the meeting to provide updates and answer questions from community members about progress on the project.

Halajian also brought a scale model of the proposed 21,450-square-foot building to show around at the meeting. “This is what it’s going to look like, he said. “But it’s still a bit of a work in progress.”

The current design features seven classrooms —  one for biology/chemistry lab plus a “prep” room, one art studio/classroom, one computer lab classroom and four general education classrooms that will also allow for 2-way simultaneous broadcast of courses from other locations in the District.

“This will allow us to utilize hybrid and distance learning so students do not have to travel to other locations as often to complete degrees,” Soukup said.

While the groundbreaking remains more than a year out, the new campus will be built in about a year or 18 months.

“Construction could begin as early as late 2021 but depends on a number of factors,” Soukup added. “Construction may finish late 2022 or early 2023.”

“The District’s commitment to elevating the quality of higher education in the Oakhurst community is exciting and the site chosen for the new absolutely campus is spectacular,” Halajian said. “As architects, we are excited to be a part of creating a new campus from the ground up that will inspire students in the mountain communities of Madera County for this and future generations.”

Tuesday’s forum took place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Oakhurst Community Center.

About 30 or 40 people attended, including current professors and other employees from Oakhurst Community College.

The new Oakhurst College Center campus was approved by SCCCD trustees after voters OK’d Bond Measure C in 2016.

The facility, to be built on a 30-acre parcel overlooking a large pond, will replace the current Oakhurst Community College Center adjacent to the Oakhurst Library.

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