ELAC builds new memories

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW-The E3 and E5 classrooms at East Los Angeles College were leveled to make way for the eventual Student Access Center. CN/Xavier M. Coronado

By Xavier M. Coronado and Dorian Rangel


The Multi-Media structures E3 and E5 have been demolished and F5 has been emptied and closed for modernization.

The demolishing and modernization of the buildings is necessary in order to bring the buildings up to current building codes as well as provide modern smart classrooms. The patch of dirt where the E3 and E5 buildings once stood and the emptied out F5 marks the departure of ELAC’s past but represents its future.

According to Allison Mah, facilities general forman, the buildings are being replaced because they are Class 5 buildings (wood frame construction) and state regulations stipulate that all K-12 and college buildings, be Class 2 (concrete and metal construction).

The reason for this is because wood frame construction has a limited life span being that wood degrades at a faster rate than metal or concrete and most old buildings lack fire sprinkler systems.

Class two buildings are made of non-combustible materials (concrete and metal) and include fire sprinkler systems.

The E3 and E5 buildings have a long history at ELAC; they were among the first permanent buildings were built on campus in 1958, replacing the bungalows that were used previously when the school first moved to its present location in 1948.

The E3 building was originally called the Business Building until it was renamed along with E5, which was called the Academic Building. All buildings on campus were renamed in 1961 when the college switched to a numbering system for its buildings.

In the early 1970s E3 was home to an ordinary bulletin board which, during the Christmas season became a means by which the Secretarial Sciences 32 class could express their gratitude through letters to professors.

E5 was once home to a controversial painting of Columbus, which depicted him surrounded by the remnants of indigenous civilizations.

E5 was also the site of the vending machine wars of 1967, in which the vending machines injured or were injured by students and took student money without dispensing the tasty morsels in return. In one incident a student by the name of Herman T. Klutz charged the vending machines causing thousands of dollars worth damage not only to the vending machines but to the E5 build as well, when the machine refused to give him his cookies.

Both E3 and E5 both played host to a massive student rampage in March of 1969. The rampage began when a group of non-students trying to organize a walk out in response to police brutality at a George Washington Carver Junior High began destroying display cases and throwing chairs through windows. The conflict then escalated to a conflict between students for it and those against. When it was over the buildings had sustained $2500 worth of damage.

E3 and E5 will be replaced by a single multi-story building know as E20 or Language Arts Center. According to the Facilities Master Plan the building will “consolidate the Language Arts programs into a single cohesive center.”

It will house the Non-Credit, basic skills (ESL), English, Foreign Languages, Chicano Studies and Speech Communication departments. The building will meet current building standards and will have smart integrated classrooms.

An exact completion date has not been announced but the Facilities Master Plan lists 2014 as the year of completion.

The F5 building which work has yet to begin on also has a long history at ELAC. Like E3 and E5 it was one of the first permanent buildings built on campus. It started off as the school’s original library. A section of it became the home for the Vincent Price Art Gallery, which held exhibitions of famous artist such as Don Bachardy and Jane Julian.

It was also home to the Service Center for the Advancement of Instruction and Learning Skills (SAILS), which was an alternative learning program where students took classes like Math and English at the own pace.

F5 at one time housed the Financial Aid offices, and until recently housed the Math and Writing Centers.

F5 much like the Library will be modernized into the Campus Center. The Campus Center will house Student Activities, Bookstore, Cafeteria, faculty and staff lounges, dinning hall as well as meeting rooms. If space permits the Mailroom and Reprographics will be added.

The Campus Center will act as a central hub for the college. Besides being emptied out no construction has begun and no completion date has been announced for the Campus Center.

One thing that is overlooked is the central strip of the main campus walkway between E3 and E5, which was demolished along with the buildings. Besides being the easiest way to get from one side of the campus to the other, the section between the former E3 and E5 buildings was a common place for students to hangout, as well as a place for events like job fairs, club rush week, bake sales and Sexual Assault Awareness Month events to be held.

The demolition of these buildings marks the end to a chapter in ELAC’s history but ushers in the beginning of a future chapter in ELAC’s history to come.

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