Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Touro University hopes to begin expansion in 2009

Touro University hopes to begin expansion in 2009
by Jenna V. Loceff, Staff Reporter

MARE ISLAND – One of the first up and running facilities on Mare Island after the redevelopment program got under way almost 10 years ago was Touro University-California, and it is now preparing to expand.

The university is a division of Touro College, a not-for-profit, Jewish-sponsored education institution based in Manhattan.

Touro University-California opened in San Francisco in 1997 and moved to Mare Island in 1999. It currently occupies seven buildings on a 44-acre parcel of land on the inactive Naval Base in the San Pablo Bay.

A mile and a half away on the north end of the island is an area of 191 acres that Touro plans to purchase for an expansion to the current campus. There are 156 buildable acres, the rest being wetlands. Part of the land is still owned by the Navy and has to be cleaned up and then turned over to the city in order for the deal to take place.

Touro has purchased 25 acres thus far, beginning the “project one” phase of the process. The rest of the land is in the exclusive rights and negotiating period, which includes the draft of an Environmental Impact Report.

Construction on the approximately 25-acre plot is set to begin in early 2009 and is expected to take roughly 42 months to complete. It will be a heavy-ion particle therapy cancer treatment center, the first of its kind in the United States. The plan for the new campus includes more space for education and a hotel, which will most likely be run by an outside group, according to spokesman Jim Mitchell. It is proposed to be finished in 2012.

Headquartered out of Manhattan, Touro College has 28 campuses. These include medical schools, law schools and Jewish liberal arts schools for men and women.

There are 1,250 students currently at the Mare Island campus. The first graduating class in the pharmacy program is set to graduate in 2009.