Chula Vista Makes Pitch for UC Campus
State and Chula Vista officials Friday showed off their proposed site for a University of California campus on the banks of Lower Otay Lake in an effort to garner support for the site.
The proposed site, which has been but a twinkle in the eye of Democratic Assemblyman Steve Peace for eight years, is in competition with “quite a good number” of sites in Southern California, said William Baker, UC vice president of budget and university relations, who visited Chula Vista to look at the site.
The UC system is in the process of selecting a site for its 10th campus, to be situated in the San Joaquin Valley in Central California. That campus is scheduled to be completed by 1998.
The UC Board of Regents, which selects the sites, may build another university, but will not decide until November if it would be in Northern or Southern California.
“Clearly, the population is heavier in the south relative to the north, but, on the other hand, there are three campuses down here with great potential to grow,” Baker said, referring to the UC campuses in Riverside, Irvine and San Diego.
Peace, who represents a large portion of the South Bay, says a university in Chula Vista would give more incentive to the growing ethnic minority population in the area to pursue a college education.
“Kids in this community need to see the university,” Peace said. “When a kid grows up here in the barrios of San Diego, they don’t relate to that campus in La Jolla (UCSD) that is physically isolated from them.”
Baker refrained from giving his support to the site, saying, “It’s a fine site in a growing area of the state . . . but there are a lot of other sites in the running as well.”
Baker made a pitch himself, for Proposition 111 on the June ballot, which would raise gas taxes to pay for road and highway improvements, and also raise the state’s spending limits.
“If Proposition 111 fails, we would find our budget short $60 million a year every year,” Baker said. “Given the current spending limits . . . in order for the University of California to grow with the state, we must have some relief.”