By Danny Vasquez
In his first official appearance as the East Los Angeles College president, Marvin Martinez opens up the ELAC Garden before the first football game of the season on Saturday.
Martinez said that the garden will open up future opportunities and support the athletic programs.
The garden is located by the score board in Weingart stadium, the ceremony kicked off the first football game of the season against Los Angeles Valley College after the ribbon cutting ceremony.
“It’s a facility we wanted to build, so we can hold receptions and events to support athletic programs,” Martinez said.
At 10,000 square feet the garden was built to accommodate outdoor seating and adds 400 people to the stadium capacity.
“We were all working very hard to get this facility completed, and it wasn’t until a couple days ago we received the green light,” Martinez said.
“I think the garden is awesome. It is just another reason to think and truly understand how ELAC is the top school in the LACCD,” Athletic Director Al Cone said.
Martinez said the garden is designed to add a place where formal events can be held before a game at the stadium which would help the athletic department.
“As far as helping the Athletic Department, I’m not sure it will, but it is certainly a great place to watch a soccer or football game and possibly a concert,” Cone said.
Martinez said that any department, not just the Athletic Department, can take advantage of the garden.
“It (the garden) can be used for fundraisers. Let’s say the ASU wants to have a fundraiser, maybe before a football game or a homecoming. I am happy to partner with you so we can invite people to come in and donate to any specific student cause. From generating more money for scholarships, books and things like that,” Martinez said.
Los Angeles Community College District Interim Chancellor Adriana Barrera, Ph.D., and LACCD Board of Trustees and former ELAC President Ernest Moreno joined Martinez.
Monterey Park Mayor Teresa Real Sebastian presented a certificate of congratulations to ELAC for the full construction of the garden at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Martinez said that the garden was originally Moreno’s vision and it was his vision started the development which lead to construction of the project.
For future plans for the Garden, Martinez wants the plaza to be of use for the East Los Angeles Classic, Garfield versus Roosevelt high schools football game.
“I’m going to be meeting with the ELAC Foundation tomorrow (Tuesday) to ask them if they want to have a mixer event there. I go to a lot of mixers and you meet with other business people, corporate people or people who have resources. They can become familiar with the campus and donate,” Martinez said.
“We already had a conversation with Garfield and Roosevelt High school programs, they asked if they can use the facility as a VIP reception,” Martinez said.
During the ceremony guests were served by Los Angeles Harbor College Culinary students. ELAC’s Latin Jazz Ensemble and marching band performed live music for the festivities.