For years eight years now Los Angeles City College has been working on opening a satellite campus on the former Van de Kamps property on the border of Glassell Park and Atwater Village. But when the Northeast Campus finally opens it may do so without any college classes.*
Instead, the Los Angeles Community College District is considering plans to lease part of the space to a charter school and part of the facility to a jobs resource center. That’s what district official have told residents who have been involved in saving the old bakery and building the new college campus. Atwater Village resident and Van de Kamps Coalition member Netty Carr said that it would make sense to put a job skills center on campus, which is the case at Los Angeles City College. but leasing space to a charter school for ninth graders fails to take advantage of the property and breaks a long-standing promise to the community.
“We are not getting what we were promised – a community college,” said Carr.
The Eastsider has placed a call to LACC to get more details *. College officials will discuss their plans tonight on the LACC campus.
LACC President Jamillah Moore, at a recent Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council meeting, blamed cuts in state funding for forcing the school to give up its plans to offer classes at the Northeast Campus, said Van De Kamps coalition member Laura Gutierrez.
But, if the Los Angeles Community College district is short on cash to staff classes, why are district officials proposing to build a satellite campus for Mission College in Sunland-Tujugna using bond money, asks Carr.
“Is this district in the real estate business or in the education business?” said Carr.
Update: President Moore called Tuesday to say that LACC will provide some college-level classes as part of the work force center when the Northeast Campus opens up this fall. However, LACC, which is running a $1.2 million deficit, lacks the funds to offer a broader variety of classes at the site and operate it as a satellite college. Instead, it has handed over the responsibility to fund and operate the Glassell Park site to the Los Angeles Community College District. The space will be shared with the work force center and Alliance Schools, which will offer classes to freshman high school students. It’s not clear what name the facility will operate under but in five years the college and the district will review the existing arrangement, she said.
“We did not want it to sit empty,” said Moore. While the arrangement is not her first option, Moore said that given the state budget cuts to education “it’s our only option.”