Six people hold up a giant check for 500,000 dollars outside of the entrance of the Educational Cultural Complex

(Left to Right) SDCCE President Dr. Tina King, SDCCE Student Welder Andrea Rosas, SDCCD Board of Trustee Member Marìa Nieto Senour, SDCCD Chancellor Gregory Smith, Community Member Ms. Rosas, and Congressman Juan Vargas, during June 17 news conference at the Educational Cultural Complex.

Rep. Juan Vargas secures $500K in funding for College of Continuing Education

June 17, 2024 | San Diego Community College District

On Monday, June 17, Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-52) visited San Diego College of Continuing Education to present a check for $500,000 for facility improvements at the college’s Educational Cultural Complex.

 The $500,000, is part of nearly $2.5 million in funding allocated for the San Diego Community College District in the 2024 federal budget for facilities improvements at College of Continuing Education, Mesa College and Miramar College. 

The funding comes following the severe flooding caused by the January 19-22 winter storm. The historic rainfall overwhelmed storm drains surrounding the Educational Cultural Complex located on Ocean View Blvd., causing flash flooding and the displacement of many families in Southeast San Diego including several College of Continuing Education students and employees.

As the January storm occurred, major flooding took over classrooms, hallways, and parking lots, which resulted in permanent damage to walls and other infrastructure at the Educational Cultural Complex. The college was forced to close its student services and outreach centers, new student lounge, many classrooms, the main foyer, and relocated faculty and students to alternate classrooms and online learning modalities. Abatement restorations are still taking place five months later at the campus to clear all hazardous material and to ensure safety for students and employees. The college’s César E. Chávez Campus, Mid-City Campus, and CE-Mesa College Campus were also impacted.

Following the check presentation, Rep. Vargas toured the Educational Cultural Complex facilities with Dr. Tina M. King, College of Continuing Education President to learn more about the facilities, flood impact, and the college’s free career training programs.

 The $500,000 will be used to fund long-overdue upgrades of restrooms at the Educational Cultural Complex, which have not been upgraded since the campus opened in 1976. Back then the facility was envisioned as Southeast San Diego’s only center for arts and education and today remains a civil rights symbol in the mountain view community. Restrooms are no longer ADA compliant and often undergo emergency repairs. Upgrades will reduce water usage by up to 50% through new low-flow toilets and faucets, and touchless features will improve restroom hygiene.

“Our college campuses, especially the Educational Cultural Complex and the César E. Chávez Campus, were disproportionately impacted during the January 22 rainfall. Several of our classroom and administrative ceilings caved in, elevators were disabled, and the parking structures were completely inaccessible,” said President King. “We are grateful for the support of Congressman Vargas. We serve the most vulnerable populations in the state, our students look to us for more than an education, we are their safe haven. It was hard to have to turn students away because of severe water damage. We look forward to restoring the Educational Cultural Complex for generations to come.”

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