Student housing discussed at town hall

By Jonathan Bermudez

East Los Angeles College President Alberto J. Roman and Chair of Social Science Marcel Morales, co-hosted a Town Hall and discussing student housing and updates on campus facilities.
Roman said how proud he is for what the ELAC staff has accomplished. He said the food vouchers, hot spots and housing they have provided are helping students in need.
Roman said there is a need to focus more on housing needs. He said there are public updates for facilities on campus that have been there since the ‘70s.
Morales said there are certain things he wants to accomplish. Morales said the meeting is an open dialogue so that the students of ELAC could participate. School administrators want to find out what the student community wants, thinks and what concerns they have.
He said members of the district are ‘the district big shots.’ They are the ones that have been helping ELAC with housing and facilities on campus.
The Los Angeles Community College District members are: Rueben Smith, Peggy Quijida De franke, Ian Erdhart and Edwin Van Ginkel. Morales also introduced his own team: Miguel Duenas, Sonia Lopez, and Jessica Olivas.
“I got to give a special shoutout to Jessica who is on the frontlines of this issue, working on this every single day and who helped with this presentation a great deal, and when students have housing issues she’s the person that we come to,” Morales said.
Vice Chancellor of LACCD, Reuben Smith presented what his team has been doing, including housing.
Smith said there was going to be a presentation that Director of Bonds for LACCD, Ian Erhardt was going to share. The presentation will show the conditions assessment, which is how they consider new facilities and to possibly create a master plan.
Erhardt said that when in discussion for a new bond he noticed that some of their needs were not met with the first three bonds that they created with ELAC.
Their data is based on percentages of the condition of buildings across the district. These percentages are how they come up with the facility commission assessment.
They also look at the Facility Commission Index (FCI) which is a study that is done by the state. Their studies happen in three-year increments but due to the pandemic they were able to create records for 2019.
ELAC sits at 25%, but Erhardt believes it will go down after they demolish bungalows and once nursing moves to the new building. The old nursing building, will be demolished.
The FCI is based on whether or not the flooring in buildings from the ‘70s have been updated. He wants to get that percentage below 10.
He said when they were evaluating the bonds they were trying to look at what wasn’t picked up.
“A lot of infrastructure work needs to be done to all of our campuses,” Erhardt said.
He said that even though we have ‘new pretty buildings’ he noticed the pipelines feeding those buildings aren’t quite adequate enough.

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