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After 10 years as a guest, Utah Valley State College wants to become a permanent fixture in northern Utah County - as a branch campus.

Gary Wixom, dean of continuing education, confirmed Monday the college plans to locate in American Fork, specifically in the Pine Ridge building formerly used by the State Developmental Center as a dormitory. The center is across from the new Mount Timpanogos Temple site, about 900 East and 800 North.The building under consideration will provide good access, four to six classrooms and several administrative offices for college use, said Wixom.

"Right now we teach evening classes at the American Fork Junior High School and have done for 10 years," said Wixom. "We will be expanding now to a daytime schedule."

President Kerry Romesburg said the college "essentially wants to establish a branch campus," moving a whole core of lower division classes into the north county area plus a number of specialized offerings.

Romesburg said the idea, initially, is to take care of the students who already travel to the Orem campus for instruction and, at the same time, expand so the school can offer the training Micron officials have asked the college to provide new employees. Many of the 250 employees for the developmental center are also interested in taking UVSC classes, he said. "If the program grows as we think it will, we'll be looking at using more than one building."

The president said he has talked with the director of health and human services about a long-term lease of 6,000 square feet now and use of the larger but much older three-story education building later.

"He (the director) has agreed that we're a compatible use with the existing developmental program," said Romesburg. "I think we're going to get it and probably be in as soon as January. We're targeting to start spring semester."

Because UVSC is a state-run school and the buildings needed are state-owned, Romesburg suggested that the college should be allowed to move in and use them at little or no cost. However, he was told that wouldn't be possible.

"So, you'll have the state paying the state, actually," he said.