Skip main navigation


Facilities Development and Utilization Committee

March 5, 2012

  Committee Members: Tom Breen, Mark Dover, and Walt Glines
  Committee Resources: Steve Kinsella and Joe Keeler
  Other Attendees: Nancy Bailey (Recorder), Don De Lorenzo, Jeff Gopp, Ron Hannon, Hope Jukl, Gina Michaels, Rey Morales, and Lisa Reeve

Open Session

1) Call Meeting to Order: Trustee Tom Breen called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. Roll call was taken.
2) Approve Minutes: Minutes from the December 13, 2011 meeting were approved.
MSC (Glines/Dover)
3) Comments from the Public: No comments.

4) Strategic Plan Goal, "Investigate alternative uses of golf course property at Gilroy campus."
  1. Current status of golf course and golf course lease – Mr. Joe Keeler reported that the management agreement with Mr. Don De Lorenzo for the golf course ends June 30, 2012. He reviewed with the Committee the Profit & Loss statement for two quarters ending December 2011 with a profit of $3,000. The district pays $102,000 for turf maintenance, about $20,000 for other golf course maintenance, and $12,000 to Mr. De Lorenzo.
  2. Report from golf course manager including First Tee and Wadsworth Foundation – Mr. Don De Lorenzo, golf course manager, reported on improvements that have been made and a 42% increase in rounds of golf since November 1, 2011. He is hopeful that the maintenance cost to the district could be eliminated in 2 – 3 years. Trustee Dover shared positive comments he has received from the public on the improved course.

    Mr. De Lorenzo reminded the Committee that he and representatives from First Tee and Wadsworth Foundation met with them last year. Mr. De Lorenzo said First Tee is a national organization that establishes junior golf programs which teach core values and life skills through golf. On March 16, the First Tee program will begin at the Gavilan golf course with 24 second and third graders participating. Additional programs Mr. De Lorenzo is looking into include a turf grass research program and accessible golf.

    Mr. De Lorenzo provided a "Gavilan Golf Course Concept Plan" prepared by the Wadsworth Foundation at their expense. The route plan is split up into 6-hole and 3-hole games. The Wadsworth Foundation has committed $250,000 to the course and has a placeholder for Gavilan as a capital project for 2014/15. This is in conjunction with the First Tee program operating at Gavilan.

    Mr. Keeler explained that the representatives of Wadsworth Foundation are anxious to get a commitment from the Board of Trustees. In addition, an agenda item concerning a STEM II grant opportunity may be a competing interest in that area. Both the Wadsworth Foundation and STEM II have a window of the next few years. Trustee Dover felt that the Committee had already given direction to keep it as a golf course. He suggested perhaps other sites could be considered for the environmental instruction without reducing the course. Trustee Glines suggested they might co-exist.
  3. Report from staff concerning Environmental Research Center (ERC) as it relates to the golf course property – Ms. Hope Jukl explained that the STEM II (Science Technology, Engineering, and Math) grant was awarded for $6 million with a goal to become a STEM magnet. Project components for the Environmental Research Center would include an arboretum, botanical garden, and outdoor classrooms. ERC project areas to be included in the ERC are the lower pond, the catch pond, the upper pond and portions of the golf course. Some of the concepts to be incorporated would be a sustainable golf course, erosion control, animal life, transforming grass areas into meadows. Ms. Jukl suggested that both the golf course and the ERC could co-exist with planning and coordination of activities.

    As a reference, instructor Rey Morales provided a handout of "Academic Senate Recommendation for Golf Course Development" completed in 2010 after faculty were presented with the question of what could be done to the golf course property. He also handed out "Golf’s Green Bottom Line: Uncovering the Hidden Business Value of Environmental Stewardship on Golf Courses" which is the result of a research project of Audubon International. He suggested that Gavilan could have a cutting edge sustainable golf course with projects as suggested in this study such as hummingbird/butterfly gardens and native drought resistant plants. Mr. Morales handed out a plan which incorporated an outdoor classroom, bluebird nest boxes, and a butterfly garden/meadow into the golf course plan.

    A discussion took place about the status of the off-sites and the possibility of using those locations for environmental studies. To be commercially viable the golf course needs to be a 9-hole course with a driving range. Mr. De Lorenzo felt that Wadsworth Foundation would not be interested if it was less than a 9-hole course. Other discussion topics included:

    • Operating a First Tee program without Wadsworth Foundation,
    • Gavilan is the only community college with a golf course in Santa Clara County; few higher education schools nationally have courses,
    • Impact on physical education courses,
    • Wadsworth Foundation purpose is to keep small community courses (like Gavilan) alive,
    • A certificate turf management program could be incorporated or a service learning community between kinesiology and natural sciences; and
    • Bring future students on campus
    Trustee Glines expressed concern about expanding course offerings in environmental sciences when the district may have to continue reducing classes. Mr. Morales said the objective is to offer a more diverse curriculum and that the department had reduced sections in one course so that they could start a new introduction course.

    Trustee Breen suggested that all interested parties meet and look at the possibilities of coexisting with a report back to the Committee by May.
5) Status of ERC project: Arboretum and Erosion Control

Mr. Morales identified the area for the arboretum and noted that we have both exotic and native plants. He said the arboretum project includes trails and signage. The work on the signage is underway. He added that students are currently involved in this process. Mr. Morales said the erosion control project in the area north of the tennis courts will require part time instructor staffing. Trustee Dover asked if the projects/courses are sustainable after the grant funding has ended and Mr. Morales responded yes through a student service learning project. Mr. Keeler referred to the agenda packet and the Board of Trustee action taken in November 2010 which indicated the projects would not impact the general fund or grounds staff. Mr. Keeler also noted that this is a multi-phase project. The district’s ADA Transition Plan and CEQA requirements may need to be considered. He noted that the project runs along the stream and contains 3 pond areas so that area has been added to the scope of work the consultants are doing for the water tank project.

6) Area for Archaeology dig site

Archaeology instructor Ms. Gina Michaels described the service learning project taking place on campus north of the first hole of the golf course. She said it was student success in action. Mr. Keeler noted that Ms. Michaels presented her request to the District Health, Safety, Facilities, and Grounds Committee which recommended approval for the short-term.

7) Status of CEQA study

Mr. Keeler reported that a consultant is doing the biological study now in the areas previously defined as a result of planned campus improvement projects scheduled for the campus. He is keeping the Gilroy Unified School District staff informed of the progress. A CEQA study is not being done on the golf course property as plans have not been identified. President Kinsella reminded everyone that the CEQA study was triggered by the water tank project and other projects were added to the scope of the study. Work cannot begin until this is complete. President Kinsella said the CEQA process is complete at the off-sites and the district is waiting for a signature from the Fish and Game Department on the habitat permit.

8) Other None.
9) Adjournment Meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m. MSC (Glines/Dover)

Please help keep Gavilan College a litter-free campus and preserve its park-like setting.
Thank you.

Last modified: June 28, 2012
Gavilan College 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Gilroy, CA 95020 (408) 848-4800