ACTC Moves Closer to Expansion

El Vaquero Staff Writer

In an effort to relieve overcrowding at Glendale Community College’s Adult Community Training Center, an additional 90,000 square feet of property will be purchased from Glendale Adventist Hospital.

According to Vice President of Administrative Services Larry Serot, the property will be purchased for $11 million, which will come out of Measure G funds.

The property, at 801 S. Chevy Chase Drive houses several medical practices, according to Serot. It will be enough for 15 classrooms for 30 students each, or roughly 450 students each hour ACTC is open.

An additional $1.5 million will modify the building to prepare it for students, said Employment and Training Program Director Karen Holden.

According to Holden, if ACTC acquires the property by mid-summer, the department will begin occupying the building during the winter inter-session and open its doors by spring of 2004.

Roughly 3,000 students a year been turned away because there is simply no room to accommodate them. ACTC classes are scattered throughout Glendale where churches, schools and conference halls have been turned into makeshift classrooms.

In a 2002 interview with El Vaquero, ESL Division Chair Barbara Assadi said that even these classrooms are full “to the fire marshal level.”
“Every seat is full,” said Holden. “We have probably another 2,000 to 2,500 people on the waiting list to get into ESL and into some of our computer classes.”

“We’ve been looking at that medical building for some time,” said Serot. “It’s ideal for our purposes.” Serot points out the condition of the building is excellent, given its use as a medical facility.

“It was built to medical standards, which are even higher than school standards.”

Plans in the past have called to buy up houses and apartments from the surrounding neighborhood to be used as additions to ACTC. However, this plan has been scrubbed in favor of moving in to the Chevy Chase location.
The building will be purchased with ACTC using only 20,000 square feet.

The remaining 70,000 square feet will be rented out, and over the next few years the remaining space will be taken up by ACTC on an as-needed basis.

“We should actually generate some revenue,” said Serot. “The idea is to take it over. We’ve even talked about moving credit programs [to the location].”

According to Serot, a setback has risen recently in that the medical group, which currently owns the property, wants to keep the building as a medical facility. This has slowed down the negotiation process. Serot said that the college should reach an agreement in about a month.

“We would continue to rent to those doctors,” said Holden.

With tight funds, the only thing the program can do now is to move students out of what Holden calls “inferior conditions.”

Computer labs may be moved to the Chevy Chase campus allowing the labs in the original campus to be converted into classrooms. Community services classes may also move into the building, including classes that are held in various locations around Glendale.

Holden adds that the number and types of classes that will move in to the Chevy Chase location is arbitrary, given the early stages of negotiations.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to get some people off our waiting list and into classes because we’ll have better facilities available,” said Holden.