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Hartnell College Breaks Ground on Center for Applied Technology

May 22nd, 2008

On a sunny, windy Thursday afternoon, with the Salinas Municipal Airport in the background, nearly 300 community members celebrated the official groundbreaking for the Center for Applied Technology on Hartnell College’s Alisal Campus.

The Center, designed by Kasavan Architects, will be a 40,000-square-foot building to house many of the college’s career and technical education programs, including the Agricultural Business & Technology Institute and the new sustainable construction programs, as well as general education, basic skills, ESL, and student services programs to serve the Alisal community.

Interim Superindent/President Dr. Phoebe Helm welcomed guests at the May 22nd ceremony and introduced the speakers, which included Kari Valdès, president of the Hartnell College Board of Trustees; Lorena Moreno, Hartnell student body president; LeBaron Woodyard, Dean of Instructional Programs and Services of the Chancellor’s Office of the California Community Colleges; Dr. Nancy Kotowski, Superintendent of the Monterey County Office of Education; Supervisor Simon Salinas of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors; Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue; Liz Sanchez, president of the board of directors of Alisal Center for the Fine Arts; Jim Bogart, co-chair of the Agriculture Steering Committee; Don Chapin, co-chair of the President’s Task Force on Construction Technology; and Penelope Hartnell, representing the Hartnell family.

Liz Sanchez, past member of the Hartnell College Board of Trustees, said the new building was important to the people of the Alisal. “Today, Hartnell is making history.  For many people in this community, Hartnell College is the only hope they have for a career.”

Jim Bogart, president and general counsel of Grower Shipper Association acknowledged the vast support of the entire ag community in rejuvenating Hartnell’s ag program. He gave special thanks to Neil Ledford, director of the ag program at Hartnell, for his leadership and hard work.

Don Chapin, president of Don Chapin Company, said that the construction industry was pleased that the construction and ag programs would share a facility, as there are so many programs they have in common, diesel technology and global positioning systems among them. “Hartnell College will be the western center for construction crafts programs. I think world center has a better sound to it, and we can be that. Hartnell College has more potential than any community college in the country right now. “

After the speeches, the invited dignitaries donned hard hats and used golden shovels to break ground. They were joined by children from the Alisal Campus Child Development Center.

Just before the program, guests enjoyed a barbecue lunch catered by the Turf Club as they were regaled by the Hartnell College Jazz Ensemble and by Rondalla Armonia.