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School of pharmacy expanding in Clovis

Rendering of the California Health Sciences University College of Pharmacy expansion on Clovis and Sierra avenues.
Rendering of the California Health Sciences University College of Pharmacy expansion on Clovis and Sierra avenues. Special to The Bee

The California Health Sciences University College of Pharmacy in Clovis is expanding nearly a year after its first class of students started at the new school.

The campus is located in a temporary 32,000-square-foot facility, south of Herndon Avenue, next to the Fairfield Inn & Suites on Clovis Avenue. It has two large classrooms, library, student lounge, offices and labs.

Dirt started moving in June on a lot across the street, next to Vineyard Pools and north of Sierra Avenue, to prepare for the construction of two new buildings.

“With every new class of students for the first four years of the program, CHSU will need to hire additional faculty and staff and will outgrow the current building after this year,” said Florence Dunn, president.

The pharmacy program will employ more than 50 people, mostly faculty. The four-year program will train more than 300 student pharmacists at full capacity. The first class of 72 students started last fall and the new class begins this month.

A 17,000-square-foot building will give the school a third large classroom, small rooms for electives, student lounge, student spaces and offices. The second building, 9,500 square feet, will have exam rooms for a clinic, a small pharmacy and a few offices.

The clinic will be used for a 12-month pilot program in which students will see patients referred by partnering physicians from the community. The pharmacy will be open to the public.

Construction is expected to be completed by summer 2016.

With the generous support we’ve received from the city of Clovis, the community, from medical professionals and from educational and business leaders, this campus expansion will help enable us to compete with other prestigious professional schools in California and across the nation until our permanent campus is ready.

Florence Dunn, CHSU President

The university was founded in 2012, by the Assemi family of developers who have plans to build a 179-acre permanent campus at Millerton Lake. The project application is underway with Fresno County. Construction is expected to be completed by 2018.

The College of Pharmacy was the first program offered at the university and will operate at the Clovis facility until the new campus is built. The Clovis location will likely be used as a satellite campus and may be used to launch future programs. The school plans to add four more colleges and is considering allied health, dentistry, podiatry, and a medical school.

The university announced on Wednesday that it is one step closer to receiving institutional accreditation by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. It is now in the “candidate” status, the second of three steps. The college is a “pre-candidate” with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.