Touro University on Vallejo's Mare Island opened a newly renovated library and pharmacy teaching facility to students this fall semester, the latest in a series of property improvements made to the historic, 44-acre cluster of 23 former U.S. Navy facilities since the nonprofit private university first opened a campus there in 1999.
Completed at a cost of around $2.4 million, the renovations involve a number of steps that further adapt the former mess hall to accommodate its current use as a modern library and classroom facility. Among those improvements is a state-of-the-art simulated pharmacy lab, replacing an unused space once used for food preparation and storage.
[caption id="attachment_78866" align="alignright" width="382"] Touro University California completed a $2.4 million library upgrade this year (photo credit: Touro University)[/caption]
"It looks like you're going into a pharmacy at Kaiser or Sutter," said Marilyn Hopkins, provost and chief operating officer of the Jewish-sponsored medical college's Mare Island campus. "They first learn in a structured, protected environment. Then, when they go out into the real world, they do it better."
With headquarters in New York City, Touro's California campus was the first of what will soon be five campuses dedicated to medical education. The 1,400-student Mare Island Campus offers graduate programs including osteopathic medicine, medial health science and pharmacy, and is a frequent recipient of medical research grants from the National Institutes of Health.
Touro purchased its campus from its former lessor, the joint-venture developer Lennar Mare Island, three years ago. The college had invested around $30 million in tenant improvements before the purchase, and plans further improvements in the coming years, Ms. Hopkins said.
"Every year, we seem to be doing some kind of major capital project," she said, noting that Touro has tried to maintain the ambiance of the former military site.
The pharmacy practice center includes three distinct rooms -- a medicine compounding facility, a classroom and a simulation area. The project was partially funded by a grant from the Walnut Creek-based Thomas J. Long Foundation, which also provides scholarships for a pharmacy program that Ms. Hopkins said graduates around 100 students per year.
Other improvements also included the creation of 13 study rooms, librarian office space, a small computer lab and six new static-free offices for the campus's information technology department. The university moved its computer servers into a space backed by an emergency generator, tunneled through a concrete floor to install new power outlets for library users and created an archive storage area with water-free fire suppression and climate control.
Revenue from each campus is delivered to the Touro's headquarters and then redistributed each fiscal year, creating a funding source for capital improvements and other projects. Next on the planned list is a building behind the closed Mare Island hospital, which was once a pioneering center for the development of prosthetic limbs, Ms. Hawkins said.***
Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute announced a new course focusing on Internet-based wine business, adding to existing offerings in its online wine business management certificate program.
Called "Wine eCommerce," the advanced-level elective course builds on the business education in the program's four-week foundation and eight-week intermediate levels. It will be offered for the first time in the spring semester of 2014.
The course focuses on the economic and regulatory issues specific to Internet activities and the wine industry, including an overview of e-business issues, wine club management and winery management software. Those completing the course are expected to learn how to leverage their online presence for marketing while operating within regulatory guidelines, as well as gaining knowledge on various web and mobile-based platforms.