SAN FRANCISCO – William Jessup University, an evangelical Christian college near Sacramento, announced on Wednesday a $25 million campus expansion that will double the amount of on-campus student housing, create a banquet facility to accommodate nearly 800 people, and add athletic and music facilities.
The large project is the university's first major expansion since the school relocated from its founding location in San Jose to Rocklin, Calif., in 2004. The university originally went by the name San Jose Christian College.
"We moved the university from our small campus in San Jose to Rocklin because we wanted to be able to serve more students in Northern California," said Bryce Jessup, president of WJU, in a statement.
"This expansion will allow us to enhance the educational experience for our students and accommodate growth in the years ahead."
Jessup, son to the university's founder and first president, made the announcement during news conference Wednesday. He also joined representatives from the university's faculty and student body and local civic leaders including the Rocklin mayor that same day to break ground for the new student housing, which is expected to accommodate 192 students after its anticipated completion in August 2009.
William Jessup University, which celebrates its 70th anniversary next year, currently has around 515 students enrolled. Nearly one-third of students are part of the Degree Completion Program which teaches Counseling Psychology, Management and Christian Leadership at the main campus and San Jose extension campus.
The university is the only residential four-year private university in the Sacramento area.
Jessup said he was grateful for the financial support and prayers that made the next big step for the university possible.
"When we decided to move to Rocklin, we had a vision of creating a university that offered more to its students. We are only able to offer more – educationally, spiritually and academically – because of the support of so many who shared and supported our vision," shared Jessup.
Reeve-Knight Construction Inc., which has worked on churches in Northern California, will be the general contractor for the expansion project, according to WJU.