Discussion will center around plans for Gavilan Golf Course
ALICE JOY – STAFF WRITER
The public is invited into a conversation tonight on plans for Gavilan College to build housing on the school’s golf course.
The community college’s board of trustees and other school officials have been examining alternative uses for the course, which is owned by the school, for about three years.
Tentative plans have been discussed to transform the golf course into housing for students, faculty and units for a senior learning community. The golf course is located within the county’s jurisdiction, not Gilroy city limits.
At the board meeting, the community can discuss these plans as well as alternative ideas for the property.
Gavilan College spokeswoman Jan Bernstein Chargin said that although the plan might be met with resistance from citizens who enjoyed golfing there, using the property as housing would benefit the college community.
“The environmental scan definitely shows that there is a real need for student housing and teacher housing,” Bernstein Chargin said.
With the expensive cost of housing in the greater Bay Area, finding an apartment or house can be a deterrent for attending the school as a student or faculty member, she said.
“We know every year we have stories about students who are homeless, students who have to leave school because they are unable to find housing,” Bernstein Chargin said. “And we have trouble attracting faculty and staff from other areas of the country because of the high cost of housing, so we know it would be a powerful recruiting tool.”
The housing would be offered at a subsidized rate for students and staff and at market rate for the seniors.
Bernstein Chargin said the housing would provide additional funds for the school as well. The school earns about $30,000 a year from the golf course, she said.