Ventura College officials Friday will launch the construction of a campus tutorial and testing center aimed at placing students in more appropriate courses and stemming the school's dropout rate.
A ground-breaking ceremony for the 4,800-square-foot Guthrie Hall of Achievement, an octagonal flagstone and stucco structure, will mark the beginning of work on what college officials consider the school's most pressing need. The Hall is to be completed in August.
The $400,000 building has been named in honor of the family of Mary Guthrie, 81, who pledged her $1.2-million estate to the school in February. A former dean and history instructor at Ventura College, Guthrie initiated her gift with a $100,000 donation.
Guthrie is to be on hand for the 11:30 a.m. ground breaking, college officials said.
The center is the first effort of the Ventura College Foundation, a fund-raising organization created in 1983.
"It seemed to be the greatest need at the moment," Foundation Director Joe Iantorano said. "The college had been running a testing and tutoring program, but it's been operating in very crowded conditions in the library. By taking this project on and building a facility for testing and tutoring, we are going to loosen up some room in the library."