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President Covino cuts ribbon for new Downtown campus

The grand opening of Cal State LA Downtown finally arrives

Photo courtesy of Twitter @HildaSolis

Marcela Valdivia, Staff Reporter

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Cal State LA finally cut the ribbon for the grand opening of the Downtown campus in the heart of Los Angeles on September 19 with the attendance of special guests.

Eric Bullard, Dean and Senior International Officer College of Professional and Global Education, welcomed everyone to the grand opening. The celebration of the campus meant a lot to him as a first generation college student who is extremely familiar with the California State University system. Cal State LA Downtown wants to continue expanding its higher educational borders at an affordable cost for working professionals.

“We look forward to continuing to work for the city and for government agencies, with business leaders in the community, to expand our efforts to continue to serve the educational needs of downtown and beyond,” expressed Eric Bullard.

President William Covino envisioned a campus in Downtown Los Angeles since his first days in office at Cal State LA and is thrilled to see his goal come to life. He hopes to expand the campus as more demands for classes continue to rise.

“I want to thank you [President Covino] for your leadership and with the opening of today’s downtown location we are bringing up educational opportunities to where the demand is, so I want to commend Cal State LA for the outside of the box thinking and bringing the university experience to the community,” said Ed Chao.“Given the central commitment of Cal State LA to engagement, service, and the public good, we have a responsibility to be here to provide the type of programs that offer exciting opportunities for the people who live and work in L.A. and beyond,” President Covino said.

The sprawling new satellite campus offers 21,00 square feet of space in an office building at the intersection of West 8th Street and South Grand Avenue, neighboring the recently opened Whole Foods. The University expects to accommodate an estimated 500 full-time students.

Ed Chao, assembly member, is a strong supporter of Cal State LA and the CSU system, as well as an immense advocate for education.

Jimmy Gomez, assembly member, shared how years ago Downtown Los Angeles was not a potential for growth. Gomez has no doubts Downtown Los Angeles will transform into the urban city with higher education he always imagined.

“Cal State LA has been a great partner for decades in Los Angeles, everything from creating job opportunities for the local youth, as well as college pathways from the local schools directly to the colleges,” said Jimmy Gomez.

Jose Huizar, Los Angeles City Council member, expressed his gratitude for the accomplishment of Cal State LA throughout the years and highlights that this day will be part of history for Downtown Los Angeles. He firmly believes that Downtown Los Angeles is the perfect place to seek growth and investment for educational opportunities.

Hilda Solis, Los Angeles County Supervisor, has helped Cal State LA obtain federal funding for projects that benefit students. Her admiration for the Cal State LA system continues to grow and she values the importance of a competitive workforce. She is a big advocate for furthering education for the county because there is a need for people in children and social services to improve the communities in Los Angeles.

“There are some tremendous opportunities and the county wants to be a partner with you,” said Hilda Solis.

Dean Eric Bullard, Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, President William A. Covino, Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, Councilman Jose Huizar, and Assemblyman Ed Chau had the honor of cutting the ribbon at the end of the conference.

“The ribbon-cutting was a truly meaningful moment for all of us at the College of Professional and Global Education,” said Carolyn Aguayo, Communications Manager for the College of Professional and Global Education. “Our grand opening signified that our doors are officially open and that higher education is within reach to even more people living and working in Los Angeles.”

Cal State LA Downtown is up-to-date with the latest and most efficient technology of the twenty-first century. The campus includes twelve classrooms, two computer labs, lounge areas, faculty offices, and conference areas that overlook an urban view of Downtown Los Angeles from the sixth floor.

“Construction costs for Cal State LA Downtown were included as part of the tenant improvements provided by the building management,” said Carolyn Aguayo. “Cal State LA utilized non-state funds to purchase computers, equipment and furniture.”

Cal State LA Downtown has plans to expand its degree programs, as well as certificate and professional training programs. This semester, undergraduate completion programs in Liberal Studies, Psychology and Business Administration became available. They offer a graduate program for social work and soon, they’ll be offering a master of Business Administration.

Next spring, Cal State LA Downtown will become the first public university to launch a Fully Employed MBA program in downtown Los Angeles. A high percentage of professors make up the main campus to teach at the downtown location, as well as other instructors who have been hired for the specific programs offered through Cal State LA’s College of Global and Professional Education.

“We are constantly assessing the viability of current and future programs to ensure that higher education needs and demands are being met,” said Carolyn Aguayo. “In addition to being an educational resource, as part of our community outreach we want Cal State LA Downtown to become a community partner and be accessible to local businesses and nonprofit organizations for their events, meetings and retreats to further demonstrate our commitment and willingness to help.”

The Cal State LA Downtown campus is located at 801 South Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90017. The lease for the 11-floored building will expire in ten years.

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