Photo: Los Angeles Times

A Los Angeles Times article today profiled the story of onetime L.A. City College student Duke Russell and his fight to save the school’s athletic field (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lacc-duke-20110706,0,4079159.story).

The article also details the process by which he brought his issue to the EHNC’s May meeting, where the neighborhood council voted to support his fight to save athletic facilities at the college. He originally brought the issue to the EHNC at its April meeting as a Public Comment item.

The school’s original athletic field, which boasted a football-sized field and a running track, was razed in 2003 to make room for the college’s new library and science buildings, which are now complete. The school’s master plan involved moving the field to a new location on the opposite end of campus, and built atop a parking garage.

Today, the garage is open, but the $51.2 million field’s opening is still four years behind schedule.  Fraught with cost overruns, poor design and faulty construction, the field’s opening date is still unclear. Following the closing of the Majestic Golf Land driving range earlier this year,  the vacant land became a potential site for a properly-built field, but the college plans to build a student union building on part of the land.

Meanwhile, other colleges in the L.A. Community College District, like L.A. Valley College in North Hollywood,  are able to open university-quality stadiums. Since the loss of the original field at L.A. City College, students and community members alike have suffered an insurmountable loss of accessible recreation space.

The EHNC is currently organizing community support to help save the athletic field and other sports facilities on the LACC campus. For more information, contact EHNC Youth & Education Committee chair Elson Trinidad at elsont@easthollywood.net.

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