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L.A. college district agrees to lease part of former Van de Kamp site to city

The Los Angeles Community College District agreed Wednesday to lease just under half of the renovated Van de Kamp bakery building to the city of Los Angeles to operate job training and placement classes and offices.

The decision came over raucous protest from the community group that fought to turn the historic Glassell Park building into a satellite campus of Los Angeles City College, a plan the district has said it had to abandon because of state budget cuts. Members of the Van de Kamp Coalition accused the seven trustees of making a backroom deal to get revenue from the city, which will pay $400,000 rent over four years.

"You have turned this site into a profit-seeking site," coalition member Laura Gutierrez said.

Trustees, who approved the lease on a 7-0 vote, said there was no way they could afford to run a satellite campus. "The district had to cut 6,000 classes this year," trustee Georgia Mercer said. "We could not predict the whole world economy could be so impacted."

Another building constructed as part of the $72-million project, funded with voter-approved bond money, was rented to a charter school last year. Part of the rent money will go to cover $150,000 in tenant improvements made to the Van de Kamp building to accommodate the city. The district's legal counsel ruled earlier that state law prohibited spending bond money on tenant improvements.

-- Gale Holland

Comments () | Archives (5)

How can a competent community college management spend 10 years and $72 million to plan and build a new campus without a plan to open it? Answer: The Los Angeles Community College District's management is incompetent.

Rosalind and the Coalition have this one correct. Unfortunately, the College District has sold out the residents of Northeast Los Angeles. It makes you wonder just what this board was thinking all along, and how much these current arrangements were pre-planned on the board's part.

I was Student Trustee when we first approved this. I hate to say that the current members of the Board have no guts and are backsliders on this great and relevant site. I apoligize to our community for not keeping their word!

I was Student Trustee when we first approved Van de Kamps. It was a great investment for LACCD and for the community of historians. I hate to see that the current board does not value the past nor the future students of LACCD.

This not the only money the Los Community College District has wasted. It has paid over $ 24 million to buy back the lease on the driving range for Los Angeles City College. President Mary Spangler, and VP Arthur Q Tyler, made the deal on the lease at that time these people are very good on wasting the tax payers money. The state needs to do an audit on the bond monies to see, how much money has been wasted.


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