An architectural rendering of Hartnell’s King City Education Center expansion
SOUTH COUNTY — Hartnell College will host a series of open forums this month focusing on the progress of its Measure T projects, including the expansion of the King City Education Center and the new Soledad Education Center.
The first of three upcoming forums is scheduled for tonight, Sept. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the King City Education Center, 117 N. Second St., room 109.
Other forums will take place Sept. 19 at the Main Campus in Salinas and Sept. 26 at the Soledad High School community room, also at 6 p.m.
Tonight’s forum in King City will focus on the progress toward an expansion of Hartnell’s King City facility. The 12,200-square-foot addition, scheduled for completion by summer 2020, will include science-related facilities to better serve South County students.
Hartnell College Superintendent/President Dr. Willard Lewallen will provide background and updates and then introduce project architects, who will present their latest designs. Following the presentation, community members will have a chance to ask questions and speak with the presenters.
In November 2016, voters approved Measure T, a $167 million local bond measure for Hartnell College. The funding has allowed Hartnell to upgrade and expand classrooms, labs and facilities on the Main Campus in Salinas, at the Alisal Campus in East Salinas and in both south and north Monterey County.
According to Lewallen, currently only 60 percent of Salinas Valley residents over the age of 25 have earned a high school diploma, and only 5 percent to 7 percent of the Hartnell Community College District’s Latino population has attained a four-year degree or higher.
“By improving access to higher education, Hartnell can help the people of the Salinas Valley earn associate degrees, certificates and four-year degrees to obtain better paying jobs,” Lewallen said.