By Stephanie Guevara
After being postponed for nine years, construction for the new East Los Angeles College South Gate Center has a set date to start.
The demolition process is set to start within March or May in the new facility located across the street from the current South Gate campus on Santa Fe Avenue and Firestone Boulevard.
The new facility, formerly the Firestone Tire Company since World War II, was purchased in 2009 from ELAC, but construction was delayed because the property failed to pass the environmental impact testing done by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control.
The original plan was to convert the former Firestone facility into a campus. ELAC will demolish it because it failed the environmental test.
The new facility is composed of four buildings, three of which were purchased by ELAC.
According to plant facilities director Abel Rodriguez, ELAC purchased the fourth through a bond provided by the Los Angeles Community College District.
“It is ready to go under demolition. There is no design for the campus, but all the constituents are being consulted. The school has an architect,” said Rodriguez.
The new facility expands 18.5 acres, which is twice as bigger as the current South Gate campus.
The current South Gate campus is a one-story building, but the new facility will have multiple stories.
Rodriguez said the new facility will offer more classes, services and more technological advances for students.
“There will be more activities such as the ones here (on the main campus).
There will be a science cluster, career and technology (center), a library, academic support, a student lounge, a health center, an art cluster, a bookstore and student services. It will be a state-of-the-art unit,” said Rodriguez.
A Kinesology Department will be among the new resources offered to students.
During the construction of the new campus, the current campus and shuttle services will still be running.
Rodriguez said the new facility will have traffic signs and a traffic light at the entrance to accommodate students, and that construction is set to conclude in 2020 or 2021.
Construction at the main campus also has a set date to finish. Rodriguez said the target to finish construction for the G8 building is Spring 2018.
The G8 building is designated for science classes such as Anthropology, Geology, Geography among other.
According to Rodriguez, the new South Gate Center won’t be the last project for ELAC.