Mar 20, 2013 8:17 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News
Preliminary discussions are underway to bring a four-year university to Lompoc.
Job creation, increased economic vitality and educational opportunities are just a few benefits organizers have in mind.
It's still in the early stages, but so far the city is on board, and officials have already begun speaking with various universities about making their new home in Lompoc.
Elayna Hockett is completing her general studies at Allan Hancock College and says she'd love to have a four-year university in her own backyard.
"I wouldn't have to go to either Santa Barbara, or Fresno or SLO," said Hockett. "I mean, those are all great schools, but it would be nice to have a college here in town."
"Certainly a university brings a cultural, social, and economic boost to communities that they're in," said Teresa Gallavan, Economic Development Director for Lompoc.
According Gallavan, universities also bring research and development that can spur small startup companies that remain local.
"That creates jobs for our economy and for our region," said Gallavan.
More jobs means more people, and that's just fine with Tabatha Hudson, manager of the Red Zone Sports Bar and Grill.
"Business in this town fluctuates. We have good days and bad days," said Hudson; however, she says if there were a university in town, that could change.
"If it was a four year college and you had just half the amount of students that are at the other four year colleges, if we could get that, it would change the town," said Hudson.
Lompoc officials have been bouncing around ideas of where the university would be located but nothing is official.
Gallavan said the process could take many years and that's why talks have begun now.
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