■ Chronicle News Service
Mt. San Jacinto College education opportunities are set to expand with the purchase of an existing 350,000-square-foot facility in Temecula, MSJC announced via press release on March 20.
Two five-story office buildings located at 41888 Motorcar Parkway were purchased March 16, 2018, facilitated by the city of Temecula, and using bond funds provided by MSJC’s measure AA, which was voter-approved in Nov. 2014 as a means of providing funds for the expansion of facilities, course offerings and career training for students and veterans. The total price of the buildings came out to $56.5 million.
Purchasing an existing facility allows the district to save taxpayer dollars and expedite access to the facility much sooner than what would be needed for new construction. It will also enable MSJC to allow the leases on the two facilities currently operating in Temecula to expire and merge into the new district-owned property. It is estimated the transition will take at least 18 months.
Bill Zimmerman, chair of the MSJC Board of Trustees, said he was proud of the district’s conservative stewardship of Measure AA facilities bond funds.
“This was a wise purchase that will benefit students and taxpayers for generations,” Zimmerman said. “It also finally allows us to transition out of leases and settle into a permanent home in Temecula, just as we did in the other regions of the district where we previously leased facilities.”
In addition to saving money in the long-term, the new facilities aim to expand higher education opportunities for Temecula residents, as well as reduce the commute hassle for the approximately 3,000 students who must travel to other MSJC campuses to pursue their education. The new facility itself rivals the size of the MSJC Menifee Valley campus, which serves over 15,000 students.
“I am thrilled that Mt. San Jacinto College will be able to prepare more students for the education they need to reach their goals at one convenient location,” said Dr. Roger Schultz, college district superintendent/president. “It is a beautiful facility, it aligns with our mission and this is a real milestone in the history of the college district.”
The college’s mission calls for it to provide quality, accessible, equitable and innovative educational programs so students can achieve their academic, career and personal development goals. The facility will help the district address shortages in classroom space for courses that students need to earn associate degrees, career certificates or transfer to four-year universities.
The city of Temecula, which helped facilitate the purchase, joined the district for a press conference at the new location Tuesday, March 20.
“Providing diverse higher education opportunities is a top priority for the City of Temecula,” Mayor Matt Rahn said. “Today marks the day of great achievement and the celebration of another milestone that has been reached in furthering this mission.”
MSJC Trustee Tom Ashley, who represents Temecula and the surrounding communities, thanked the city for its help in facilitating the purchase.
“I am just so excited to be a part of MSJC at this time in its history,” Ashley said. “This facility will help Mt. San Jacinto College close the gap in the lack of opportunity for our students to get a higher education closer to home. It will reduce travel time and traffic, and, it’s good news for parents and students who want to avoid racking up college debt. Soon they can attend a high-quality, affordable community college with comprehensive course offerings right in their hometown.”
The District is planning a series of open forums to share the information and address concerns. For more information provided by the Public Information & Marketing Office, please visit www.msjc.edu.