Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

SMC Buys Out the YWCA on 14th Street in Santa Monica; $5M for One Acre

Land is adjacent to the main campus and will be added to it. YWCA will move, natch

 

January 20, 2017

Entrance to the YWCA on 14th Street.

Below is the press release from SMC, which is buying out YWCA's land grant on 14th Street. Only 4% of SMC students graduated from Santa Monica High School. Historically, "community colleges" were a place for local high school graduates to spend 2 years before they transferred to 4 year institutions. SMC's 33,000 enrollees are mostly foreign students obtaining a certificate in English proficiency.

The Santa Monica College Board of Trustees announced an agreement with the YWCA Santa Monica / Westside to transfer to SMC a one-acre parcel on 14th Street, just south of Pico, adjacent to SMC's main campus. The SMC Board approved the $5 million purchase by unanimous vote at its regular meeting on Tuesday, January 17, 2017.

The SMC vote comes shortly after the Board of the YWCA Santa Monica / Westside voted unanimously on January 6, 2017 to pursue the property transfer with SMC.

The property at 2019 and 2023 14th Street occupies 43,400 square feet of land. The site offers opportunities for SMC to enhance programs that support student success, ranging from health and wellness services to resources for neighborhood youth and military veterans, to highly motivating programs such as the Pico Promise Transfer Academy, to classes for older adults in SMC's esteemed Emeritus program. The 14th Street property also offers the benefit of being located on two bus routes, making it easily accessible.

"Santa Monica College is exceptionally committed to student success," said SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery. "We have been able to strengthen our student support programs recently with the availability of new state and private grants. This property will provide more options for SMC as we address how we organize and rebuild our campus over the next few years."

The YWCA plans to use the proceeds from the sale to establish a donor-advised fund at the California Community Foundation to award grants to nonprofits.

After greatly expanding the Santa Monica swim center 10 years ago, SMC ran out of space for students.

"When the Board recognized, last year, that the YWCA Santa Monica / Westside no longer was financially sustainable due to declining donations, we set in motion a disciplined and prudent process of receiving, reviewing, and vetting a number of bids to buy the property, weighing possible public benefits as well as the value and certainty of each alternative," said Anne-Marie Spataru, President of the Board of the YWCA Santa Monica / Westside. "We are pleased that the property will continue in the service of our community and pleased that, upon the closing of this sale, we will be able to move forward with our plans to fund grants to nonprofit organizations that are aligned with the mission and interests of the YWCA Santa Monica / Westside."

Funding for the purchase of the 14th Street parcel will come from SMC student enrollment capital fees.

 
 

Reader Comments
(1)

SMC2016 writes:

Maybe this is why nearly everything on campus is over-priced and international students have a sursvey out there about a proposed increase in their tuition. Is it possible this money could have been better spent completing the (so I'm told) decade long money pit on the SE corner of 18th & Pico or ensuring the new Broadcasting building has everything it needs to hit the ground running whenever it open some 2 years behind schedule?

 
 
 

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