FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA

Education

Solano College hears presentation on aeronautics partnership

By From page A4 | April 18, 2013

FAIRFIELD — The Solano Community College governing board decided Wednesday to go forward with a public-private partnership after hearing a presentation from ICON Aircraft.

Kirk Hawkins, founder of ICON Aircraft, presented a three-way partnership that directly affects the college and may involve some of the money raised through Measure Q.

Vacaville and Solano College are in the planning stages, along with the Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum Educational Foundation, to revitalize the Nut Tree Airport with a museum, hotel and shopping. The college is looking at potentially moving its aeronautics program to the airport.

Hawkins emphasized the advantages the partnership would yield for the college, including the creation of internships and job opportunities for Solano College students, and the opportunity grow the aeronautics program curriculum and take advantage of what Hawkins said was a growing aviation industry. The partnership may use money raised through Measure Q, the $348 million bond measure passed by area voters in November.

Several Vacaville city staff spoke at the meeting in support of the partnership, including Mayor Steve Hardy, Vice Mayor Dilenna Harris and City Manager Laura Kuhn.

The board was divided on the partnership. Trustees Dennis Honeychurch, Rosemary Thurston and Vice President Pam Keith had reservations about using Measure Q money for the project and had concerns about the risk involved with getting involved with a startup company.

No action was taken on the issue.

In other news, the board voted to enter an agreement with Roy V. Stutzman for consulting services in facilities planning and long-term funding with regard to Measure Q.

Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherMalia.

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San covers Rio Vista, features and general news for the Daily Republic. She received her bachelors of art degree from the University of Oregon.
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  • voted for qApril 18, 2013 - 10:21 pm

    I voted for Measure Q, but it wasn't to add more programs. SCC said they needed Q to fix what they already had. This is just adding more that they still won't be able to take care of. This totally goes against what they said. The aeronautic industry may be growing, but not here in Solano. The Air Force has been steadily decreasing the amount of aircraft maintenance performed at Travis. It's been going to Texas and elsewhere more and more, but not for lack of manpower specifically. Friends who have worked in maintenance shops at Travis have said they'd love to work out on base but the AF has been slowly rejiggering support locations. The aeronautical industry is increasingly complex, requiring matching complex - and expensive, training. This is a waste of resources that SCC can better spend on fixing what they already have.

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