ELAC plans to demolish gyms for new athletic center

By Noe Ortega

Plans to tear down the north and south gymnasiums at East Los Angeles College and create an athletics village next to Weingart Stadium are underway. 

ELAC president Marvin Martinez said that he wants to bring all of the athletics teams together on the west side of the campus. 

The lot between the baseball field and the C2 complex at the moment is empty, but Martinez plans on having the new health and wellness and kinesiology center placed there. 

The center would include two basketball courts, a state-of-the-art weight room, new classrooms for kinesiology and health classes, and an indoor track. 

“It’s a blessing for the athletics and Kinesiology Department,” Bobby Godinez, athletic director and head football coach, said.  

“New facilities are desperately needed here for the students, student athletes and the faculty.” 

Martinez said that he also wants ELAC to host more state athletic events, because the only state championship tournament that ELAC can host is swimming and diving. 

“There’s an analysis that the state does on the condition and age of buildings. If the condition is not a good one then they (City of Monterey Park) tell you. They tell you that these buildings fall under the category where it’s probably better to demolish it and start a new building,” Martinez said. 

Apart from demolishing the two gyms, the softball field would also be moved to the athletic village and would sit next to new kinesiology building if there is enough space. 

Martinez said one reason to create an athletic village is because the east side of ELAC, like the performing and fine arts complex, G5 building and the anthropology, geography, geology and physics department have either been renovated or are new buildings, while the other side of the campus hasn’t had many upgrades. 

Although it’s not confirmed, there may be some empty space on the west side of the campus to put either another soccer field or to place a beach volleyball court. 

ELAC currently doesn’t have a beach volleyball team, but Martinez said that he’s interested in starting one. 

Martinez used California State University, Northridge Student Recreation Center and Cal State, Long Beach Student Recreation and Student Wellness Center’s as examples of how he wants this new building athletic center to look.   

Martinez, leaders from the kinesiology and athletic departments, administrators that work for the kinesiology and athletic departments and the campus program manager are meeting to come up with a plan to present to the Shared Governance Council. 

The council will recommend which committees to get support from, so that they can get input, and ELAC’s students could be represented and not left out of this idea. 

Before the building can begin construction, Martinez and his team have to present the plan to the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees to get their approval and secure funding to begin building it.  

All the classes that are in the C2 complex would be moved into their respective department buildings on campus.

“All around the country, the biggest selling point to a college, community college or an NCAA level college (student) is the facilities that you’re dealing with. Ours are a little outdated, so being able to show new, incoming players this facility, it’s going to be awesome,” Godinez said. 

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