Tejon Ranch site eyed for AVC campus
BY JIM SKEEN, Staff Writer
LANCASTER - Antelope Valley College has yet to build its second campus, but already is looking toward finding a location for a third.
As AVC continues working toward the construction of a Palmdale campus, college officials said they need to plan for the future and are looking at the possibility of a third campus. The college amended its contract with Public Private Ventures, its Palmdale site consultants, to authorize it to search for a site within the proposed 23,000-home Centennial development in Tejon Ranch.
AVC President Jackie Fisher said the college has held a couple of meetings with the developers to discuss the concept.
"We're in the early stages," Fisher said. "We are seeking a collaborative effort."
Centennial would draw some 70,000 residents to a 12,000-acre development proposed east of Interstate 5 about halfway between Bakersfield and Los Angeles. The project, tentatively set to begin construction in 2007, is being proposed by Centennial Founders LLC, a partnership composed of Pardee Homes, Tejon Ranch Co., Lewis Investment Co., and Standard Pacific Homes.
Although the project site is about 30 miles west of AVC's Lancaster campus, it is within the college district's boundaries.
"That's a massive project out there," said AVC board President Steve Buffalo. "If it comes out as they foresee, there will be a need for a campus out there."
Public Private Ventures is tasked with finding a site of about 100 acres within the Centennial project that would be suitable for a college campus. The site would have to accommodate up to 10,000 students.
The college consultants would identify the site, negotiate for its donation or purchase, and work on the cooperative agreements needed with the property owner and with the appropriate government agencies involved in the approval process.
Once a site for a community college is identified, it must be included in official plans for Centennial, plans must be developed for funding and infrastructure and opportunities identified for shared uses.
Those first steps are expected to occur relatively quickly, within three months to half a year, because Centennial is already in the planning and entitlement process.
The next steps after that include a more thorough evaluation of the suitability of the selected site, including engineering and environmental studies, getting approval from state officials, and managing the escrow process.
The company would receive hourly fees and an incentive fee of 5 percent of the fair market value of any donated or purchased site.