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“We were out there during the Depression. We had ongoing educational content, vocational programs and our aircraft maintenance program.” “Being small was not an accident,” Rose said. “The college always had small enrollment on purpose to provide quality education that is uniquely student-centered, which we still have today.” A Big Expansion It wasn’t until 1963 that the college expanded in a big way. A board of trustees was formed, and Ralph Schroder became its first president. In 1964, the county passed the first educational bond, for $1.8 million, which was matched by state funds. This allowed them to build the campus that exists today in Gilroy. It was thought to be an ideal location between Hollister and Gilroy. It would take another 50 years, however, for another sizable bond measure to put significantly more money into the college. That one, Measure E, a modernization bond for $108 million, passed in 2004. Rose explained that it provided infrastructure and renovations to the Gilroy campus, and made it possible to purchase land in San Benito County and Coyote Valley for future expansion. In 2018, the third bond in 100 years, Measure X was passed for $248 million dollars. “We are now poised at an extraordinary time in the college’s history to be able to move forward with five major projects,” Rose said. These projects include: Building a 33,000 square foot campus at the San Benito site, which will enable them to offer more at that site. “We’ve never stopped offering educational services there, but it’s time for a permanent presence,” Rose said. This will include wet labs, computer labs, and vocational instruction. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN At the Gilroy campus they will be adding a STEM center with labs and lecture spaces to support the sciences, a central plant to keep their HVAC services up and running, and a performing arts center. “We are super excited about the performing arts center,” Rose said. “We want a place where we can celebrate all aspects of the arts.” “This arts center is an opportunity for very strong com- munity partnerships with the entire district,” she said. “We recognize that there are limited places to do this now. We want an arts center with community space for folks from Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and San Benito to explore, deepen and cherish our relationships,” she added. “It’s bringing us all a great deal of pride, optimism and excitement.” A Community Resource “Community has always been an important aspect of Gavilan college, which set out to be a resource for the community from the very beginning and continues to make good on this.” april/may 2019 gmhtoday.com 43