BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Bakersfield College along with the city of Arvin celebrated a major milestone for higher education. The community college is installing a new satellite campus in Arvin, giving students direct access to higher education.

It’s official. These 32 acres of land, will one day be home to a new college, located directly across the street from Arvin High School.

“This is the shining moment when you take a shovel and symbolically turn dirt,” Former Calif. State Congressman Bill Thomas said. “That means Arvin is going to have a building, a campus, a Bakersfield College in Arvin.”

“For the community it means that they can go to school in the city they live in,” Yovani Jimenez a trustee for Kern Community College District said. “They’re going to be able to just walk to their community college.”

Many families in this low-income community struggle to send students on to college. Many of them don’t have the same privileges other children have growing up. These kids often have to make a choice, spend money to go to school or work and help their families.

“Arvin is a low-income community,” Jimenez said. “So bringing education to their backyard is important because sometimes our students have to make a decision. So building our Arvin campus we are making a decision that’s accessible for them.”

The satellite campus has been asked for by the community for decades. Now the new college offer Associate’s and bachelor’s degrees for students.

“Arvin is a community that we absolutely need to lift,” Chancellor Sonya Christian of the Kern Community College District said. “It’s a vibrant community of passionate individuals. So our focus is to bring college closer to home. So students from high school can get a college degree. Their parents can come back and get a college degree. So this is really going to be an intergenerational community gathering place for education and economic mobility.”

The Arvin campus is expected to finish construction and open in the Fall of 2024.