Criminal Justice School Opens at Gavilan

New Gav Campus

South Bay Regional Public Training Consortium, also known as the Academy, in San Jose,  will be hosting on open house Friday, March 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
After more than a decade of planning and construction, Gavilan Community College’s campus in South San Jose opened to students this week and simultaneously became the new, state-of-the-art home for the region’s premier first responder training academy.
“The Board of Trustees and I are delighted to return to Coyote Valley to cut the ribbon on our new facility just 14 months after first breaking ground in December 2016,” college president Kathleen Rose told a gathering last week at the 560 Bailey Ave. site in the northern end of Coyote Valley.
“Gavilan College-Coyote Valley Center will be home to public safety training for the district communities we serve as well as offer Gavilan degree and certificate programming for many years to come,” she said.
Indeed, what’s envisioned is a sprawling, full-service campus of 10,000 students on a former golf course across the street from the only other development in the area right now, IBM’s so-called Bailey Avenue ‘think tank.’
“We are excited about the community partnerships that have supported the development of this center and encourage the community to stay tuned for more information about classes to come,” Rose said.
Class offerings will include communications, computer science, kinesiology and mathematics.
A smattering of students braved localized flooding Monday for the first day of classes at the 28,800-square-foot facility, and a full complement staffed the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium.
The consortium relocated to Gavilan’s new campus after more than 22 years at Evergreen Valley Community College.
“We at ‘The Academy’ are excited to join the Gavilan College’s Coyote Valley Campus in their newly constructed facility,” said consortium President/CEO Steven J. Cushing.
“The location will serve the region’s public safety agencies for fire training as well as law enforcement and communication dispatch academies. We serve nearly 100 agencies and provide mandated and necessary training to allow for our clients to serve their communities in a superb professional manner,” said Cushing, the retired Santa Clara County Undersheriff who oversees the nonprofit consortium and its $11 million annual budget.
The consortium was created with a state grant in 1994 to the Gavilan and Evergreen Valley college districts and has been housed at the latter for more than two decades.
Today, the consortium also includes the Monterey Peninsula, San Mateo, Lake Tahoe, Cabrillo, Mission, Hartnell, Foothill and Ohlone community colleges.
New facilities include classrooms, mat rooms for physical training, locker/shower rooms, improved technology and parking.
The facility offers professional, mandated training for police officers and sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and public safety dispatchers. About 50 recruits are currently in training, according to Cushing, and about 90 percent of those are sponsored by specific agencies where they’ll work. The new 55-acre Gavilan campus serves the northern part of the joint community college district, which runs from South San Jose through San Benito County. The land was purchased in 2006 with $18 million from the Measure E bond passed by voters in 2004 and a land donation from the Sobrato organization. Construction costs were $16 million, $12.5 of which came from Measure E and the rest from donations.

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