Fresno Unified leaders break ground on new alternative education campus

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Thursday's groundbreaking signals a new beginning for Fresno Unified students.

Fresno Unified School District and community leaders came together in support of the new campus.

It will be built on Ventura and 10th in southeast Fresno.

The administration building will be named after former Edison High School principal Dolphas Trotter, the early learning center after farm labor activist Dolores Huerta, and the CTE building after former Fresno State professor Roger Tatarian.

The main building will be named after Francine and Murray Farber.

They are the Valley couple known for their generosity in helping students pursue higher education.

"It's humbling, thrilling and just looking toward the future," the Farber's said. "That's what's so important -- at our age, we can still have this looking toward the future and that's very exciting.

The specialty campus will replace the old juvenile hall, which was demolished in the summer of 2019.

Trustee Genoveva Islas says this project hits close to home.

She remembers her own family members being sent to the former juvenile hall.

Now, she believes this investment will help students dream big and work toward a more *positive future.

"Those same students going through difficulties like my cousins would have access to the support that helps them get back on track and help them have product and fulfilling lives," she said.

The more than 12-acre campus is designed to meet the needs of more than 1,200 students.

This will be a home for students who are struggling with their credits, the traditional high school culture or even issues at home.

This building will be a central location for the district's three alternative education schools, supporting students with the flexibility of morning, evening and weekend classes.

Instead of being a place where kids get locked up, Fresno Unified leaders say they are doubling down on students' success.

"It's a reimagine because of the resources that are coming together to serve this campus," says Yolanda Jimenez-Ruiz. "These are students no different than you or I that are just needing a little bit of a different educational setting to help them achieve their goals."

The $65 million project is funded through the Measure M bond passed by voters in March of 2020.

If you are in the Fresno Unified School District and interested in the school, officials say you can go to your counselor at your home school and request a transfer.
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