Luna looks to get bigger building in Santa Rosa

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By David Giuliani

SANTA ROSA — Luna Community College is looking at working with Guadalupe County to expand the school’s space in Santa Rosa, which officials hope would increase the college’s offerings.

Members of the Board of Trustees last week toured Santa Rosa’s old middle school, a building that is occupied by both the city of Santa Rosa and Guadalupe County. Leading the tour was Albert Campos, the Santa Rosa campus’ director.

The downtown building was recently renovated, and half of it is being used as a city hall for Santa Rosa. However, the county doesn’t need its half because it has its offices in the county courthouse.

If Luna enters an agreement with the county, it could gain access to four classrooms, an administrator’s office and common areas.

College officials are considering trading Luna’s satellite campus building across the street with the county. They said the current facility would be better used as offices than classrooms.

The county may need its half of the old middle school building during courthouse renovations during the next year, but by next fall, Luna could then use the space, officials said.

Luna has served Santa Rosa for more than a quarter century. Other satellite campuses are in Mora and Springer.

Luna President Sigfredo Maestas and Campos have been working with Guadalupe County officials to get the use of space at the old school.

“Obviously, it’s a very handsome building,” Maestas told the trustees.

He suggested that politics may determine how much of the building Luna can get.

“Should the political situation change a little bit, you may be able to pick up the entire building,” he said.

After trustees said they liked the building, Maestas promised he would write a letter of interest. “We would be returning the building to its educational purpose,” he said.

Guadalupe County Commissioner Richard Chavez told the trustees that he hoped the college took advantage of the opportunity. He noted that before Kenneth Flores became a trustee, Santa Rosa voters were considering getting out of the Luna district because they weren’t seeing a return for their money.

“As far as politics, we hope it changes for the best,” he said. “We have no future use for this building.”