Trustees considering paving upper field

Doug Comer

The option of paving over the field behind the Campus Center as a means of providing additional parking was considered Wednesday during a special Board of Trustees meeting.
The Facilities Committee discussed a report from campus staff studying the possibilities of more on-campus parking lots, which would serve as alternatives to building a five-story, $8 million parking garage.
The proposed East Campus parking lot, which would replace the existing field behind the Campus Center, would provide an additional 95 parking spaces and would cost $425,000, according to a March 26 survey by Penfield & Smith, a local civil engineering firm.
The lot’s construction would be part of a bartered deal with the California Coastal Commission to get its approval to erect a building for the School of Media Arts. The Commission, which would prefer the parking garage option, is forcing administrators to confront the campus’ parking problems before they’ll approve the SoMA building plans, said City College President John Romo.
He also said that even if the Board approves the field’s development, it won’t happen in the next year or two.
Kathleen O’Connor, chair of the Physical Education Department, said she is concerned about where the P.E. Department’s golf classes would be relocated, but didn’t see the need to spend millions for a five-story parking garage and suggested students should look at the surrounding area for alternatives, such as harbor parking.
“If I can walk, my students most certainly can,” she said.
Students and faculty in the golf classes won’t be the only ones in the PE Department to be affected if the East Campus field gets paved.
Cheerleading Coach Coral Gahan said the cheerleading team, which uses East Campus field, doesn’t have an alternative practice area and by regulation has to practice on campus. The Garvin Theatre fields are unsuitable because of potholes and they can’t practice within the football stadium because their practices are scheduled the same time as the football team.
“We’re a distraction,” Gahan said.
One student thinks City College owes its students more on-campus parking.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Mike Miller, a returning student from UCSB. “They need another parking complex.”
Others focus on the cost of campus appearance.
“That’s horrible,” said Bryce Bergan, a Marine Diving Technology student. “You come out here to sit and it’s all green. You can’t freaking cement over everything.”
“This beautiful bluff top section of East Campus has already been so defaced by quick asphalting and portable buildings that it may seem pointless to care about more debasing,” said Journalism Department Chair Patricia Stark, whose office and teaching spaces overlook the field. “The college administration is making, in my opinion, questionable judgments about land usage on this corner of East Campus.”