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Saturday, May 25, 2024
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“Village” Offers New School Concept

‘Village’ Offers New School Concept

Construction: Educational Campus to Be Used By Several Schools, Agencies

BY MANDY JACKSON

Staff Writer

NATIONAL CITY , The Community Development Commission has demolished the Pussycat Adult Theater at Eighth Street and National City Boulevard to make way for a $22 million project dubbed Education Village.

The CDC began purchasing property to assemble the site 15 years ago. Because the site included the buildings, the CDC spent about $11 million to assemble the 3.3-acre property.

“We held on to it for a long time, waiting for the right project,” said Ben Martinez, project manager for the CDC.

The CDC will sell the site as vacant land to Southwestern College for $2 million, which the city will use to put in streets, curbs and lights. Also, the CDC is giving the college a $2.5 million grant to help build a parking structure.

Southwestern College is the developer for Education Village. The project will provide more space for a collaboration operated by Southwestern and San Diego State University.

The college is currently leasing 11,000 square feet of ground-level retail space in a parking structure serving the Holiday Inn and Red Lion hotels from Pacifica Corp.

Education Village will have two buildings totaling 72,000 square feet, a 453-space parking structure, and an 80-space parking lot. The San Diego County Office of Education will occupy a 25,000-square-foot building, which will be used for teacher training, teleconferencing and a cyber-caf & #233;.

The 47,000-square-foot building used by Southwestern and SDSU will have 10,000 square feet of retail and restaurants. Southwestern is in negotiation with Aztec Shops, SDSU’s retail operator, to provide a bookstore and some sort of food service, said John Wilson, Southwestern’s director of business and operations.

Joint Venture

Southwestern and SDSU have been collaborating for four years on a higher education program. The two schools provide lower level courses for students intending to transfer from Southwestern to SDSU.

The National City facility also houses the community college’s dental hygiene, administration of justice and child development programs.

Southwestern’s building in Education Village will have 12 standard classrooms, one large lecture hall, two computer labs, a dental hygiene lab and administrative offices, according to Bill Kinney, provost for the higher education program for Southwestern. Some programming will be maintained in the current National City facility.

Kinney, who is looking forward to moving into new offices, said, “This has been a fun project from the beginning.”

In 2000, Southwestern College district voters passed Proposition AA, which allocated $89 million for construction of new facilities and improvements to the college’s main campus in Chula Vista.

Demolition for Education Village began May 7 and will last until June, according to Martinez. A Veterans of Foreign Wars post and various businesses are also being cleared from the site.

Once demolition is completed, the CDC will begin environmental cleanup work that is expected to last throughout the rest of the year.

Until construction begins in January or February, design and engineering plans for the new buildings will be ongoing. NTD Architects of San Diego designed the project.

Before construction begins, the CDC will transfer the title for the property over to Southwestern, Martinez said.

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