Chula Vista could begin negotiations with a university for its university site

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jan 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-22 20:31:21-05

CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- The City of Chula Vista could soon begin negotiations with a North County-based university for a new campus on the city’s eastern side. 

Chula Vista has reserved 375 acres in Otay Ranch for a future multi-institution university site. “I think it would be an absolutely phenomenal opportunity,” said Christos Korgan, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Saint Katherine, a private university in San Marcos.

Saint Katherine College was founded in 2010 and became a University a year ago. It currently has about 200 students but administrators said they’d like to expand its footprint and be home to roughly 5,000 students. 

They approached Chula Vista officials about its university site. A city spokeswoman said if the council approves moving forward, they would negotiate roughly a 10-acre piece of the much larger site.

“This would be a small step towards the larger vision of a multi-institution site,” said Assistant City Manager Maria Kachadoorian. Dr. Korgan, who now lives in Chula Vista, said he thinks residents will be excited with progress.

“I had gotten at least a sense from the community that they were doubting that this was ever going to happen,” he said. “It allows [Saint Katherine] to finally place a firm foundation in a single location.”

Saint Katherine is also intrigued by the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center, a gigantic Olympic-level sports facility owned by the city. 

A Saint Katherine administrator said a majority of its student body plays sports in NCCAA Division I but they currently have no home facilities. 

Athletes participate in baseball, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and softball. Korgan said it would be a positive step for Saint Katherine, which is currently housed in a single building.

“I guess the way I sort of think about it, which is sort of romantic is that, this is what Harvard was just a couple hundred years ago,” he said.