San Joaquin College of Law to acquire Clovis Senior Center

San Joaquin College of Law (right) will take over the soon-to-be-vacated Clovis Senior Center building (left) as part of a lease-purchase agreement. (San Joaquin College of Law)

The Clovis City Council voted at its Jan. 8 meeting to implement a lease-purchase agreement with San Joaquin College of Law, enabling the school to eventually move its law library into the soon-to-be-vacated Clovis Senior Center.

Under the terms of the agreement, SJCL will lease the building for $90,000 per year for 20 years, with the option to buy it for $1 at the end of that time. Clovis hopes to use that money to help finance the new Senior Center slated to be built just a few blocks north, at Veterans Parkway and Third Street.

The new Senior Center is expected to be completed by the end of 2019. The agreement gives the City of Clovis 90 days after completion of the new Senior Center to vacate the old one. SJCL believes the building will not require extensive renovation, and hopes to occupy the building as early as the start of classes in August 2020.

SJCL Dean Jan Pearson thinks that timeline may be a little ambitious, saying January of 2021 seems more realistic. Along with the library, Pearson hopes the newly acquired facility will also house study rooms, library offices, and a classroom or two. All in all, she describes the vote as “a great move forward.”

The vote would have been unanimous, but Clovis Mayor Bob Whalen recused himself because he sits on the SJCL Board of Trustees. Council member Lynne Ashbeck enthusiastically moved to enter into the agreement, saying the law school is a gem of the downtown Clovis area. It was approved 4-0 with Whalen abstaining.

More than 1,500 students have attained a Juris Doctor from San Joaquin College of Law since its inception in 1969.