The University of California will build a new conference center at the eastern edge of the 175-acre Lindcove Research and Extension Center in Tulare County, on a site where the slopes of the Sierra Nevada foothills raise the elevation 50 feet above the valley floor.

Windows in the new facility will frame a view of the station's research citrus groves, neighboring farms, and on clear days, all the way across the San Joaquin Valley to the Coastal Mountain Range.

The stand-alone building - with its own parking, restrooms and kitchen - will seat up to 125 people for grower meetings, field days, short courses, workshops and training. Priority for usage will be given to UC citrus-related activities, however, when available, it may be reserved for other UC programs, according to Lindcove superintendent Louis Whitendale.

“The Tulare County UC Cooperative Extension office will soon be moving to its new headquarters in Tulare,” Whitendale said. “Our new conference center will provide a meeting-room option for UCCE at this end of the county.”

UC's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources allocated $320,000 from its 2000-01 budget to fund construction. Groundbreaking is expected this spring and completion is slated for September 2001.