Sept 13, 2004
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or mstepanovich@csub.edu

California State University, Bakersfield President Horace Mitchell joined John Hultsman, associate vice president at CSUB’s Antelope Valley Center, and Antelope Valley dignitaries today (Sept. 14) for the grand opening of the Lancaster University Center in the Challenger Memorial Building at the former Antelope Valley fairgrounds.

The center will be home to several of CSUB’s classes in the Antelope Valley. The building has been converted to 13 classrooms plus offices from its previous incarnation as a fair structure. Its retrofit helps CSUB consolidate its classes, which had been scattered around at various locations.

CSUB, which offered classes for several years in the Antelope Valley through its Extended University, created a permanent branch campus on the northeast corner of Antelope Valley College in 1999. Enrollment at CSUB Antelope Valley campus has grown to more than 1,000 since then, and the university has added several buildings and offices to its branch campus. But the rapid growth also forced the university to look for classroom space elsewhere.

The new Lancaster University Center allows CSUB to consolidate those classes into one locale, so that now students will attend classes at either the CSUB Antelope Valley branch campus, or the Lancaster University Center.

“The university sees this as a partnership with the communities in the Antelope Valley to bring higher education to this region,” said James George, CSUB provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Added Hultsman, “This helps us meet our commitment to be a part of the community, rather than apart from the community.”

The Lancaster University Center is part of the city of Lancaster’s redevelopment of the former 75-acre Antelope Valley fairgrounds. The city has spent more than $3 million in renovating the 20,000 square-foot Challenger Memorial Building.

CSU Fresno is also sharing the center, offering degree-track programs in computer, electrical and mechanical engineering.

For more information about the Lancaster University Center or CSUB’s Antelope Valley programs, please call (661) 952-5000.