California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom was at Merced College on Wednesday to tour an aging facility and listen to advocates of community colleges.
Newsom toured the Agriculture and Industrial Technology facilities built in 1968 and 1976, according to a news release. The college has plans to build a new $21 million facility.
School leaders said the college is preparing to build that facility with bond measures from the last decade. With the passage of Proposition 51 by California voters in 2016, the college is seeking to get the matching funds in next year’s budget cycle to build the agriculture structure.
“We recognize agriculture as a vital part of our economy and we want our educational facilities to match the quality of our programs,” Merced College President Chris Vitelli said in a statement. “This state-of-the-art agriculture and industrial technology facility will be one of a kind and will give our students a leg up as they enter high-wage, high-demand careers in this industry.”