Madera Community College breaks ground on new academic village

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Madera Community College is expanding its footprint in the community. The school broke ground on a new addition to the campus on Friday.

The school is adding what it's calling an 'academic village' to the campus.

The building will play a big role in student life, adding general education classrooms and much needed lab space.

"It's going to add more life to our campus," said Madera Community College President Angel Reyna. "Behind me, you see nothing but agriculture, which is beautiful, but the building will surround our campus and it will provide a natural quad."

"We'll have tutoring, we'll have our nursing program which has been working out of portables, now they'll have a state-of-the-art facility, they'll have office spaces," continued Reyna.

There will also be new spaces for a student success center, a library, and labs for nursing, computers and criminology.

Most importantly it will be a permanent fixture as the school continues its transformation from a satellite campus to a standalone college, a change that was announced about a year ago.

"It adds more life to our campus," said Reyna. "It will be more permanent because we're moving from modulars to more permanent structures."

Student Jonathan Stoermer says the space is much needed.

"Seeing how big this campus has grown, there has been overcrowding in classrooms, so we needed the extra space," explained Stoermer.

He hopes it's the next step to returning more students to campus.

"To me it's an opportunity for students to look forward to the future of what's to come for this campus," said Stoermer.

Madera Community College has about 8,000 students enrolled and officials hope to have 40% of them back on campus this fall.

The $35 million project is funded by the Measure C bonds. The new academic village should be completed by the summer of 2022 and open to students next fall.
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