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Fail for Community Colleges: Series Chronicles Rebuilding Debacle

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Planned LPA Inc-designed West LA Community College
Trouble in River City, folks. If you've been watching the construction of community colleges around the city over the last couple of years--LA Tech to West LA--the Los Angeles Times has been watching, too. The paper spent the last 18 months detailing the poor planning and construction mistakes incurred since Los Angeles Community College District convinced voters to pass bond measures allocating $5.7 billion to rebuild every campus in the area. In a week-long series that kicked off yesterday, the paper details how a clock tower at East Los Angeles College was found to be leaning, while at West Los Angeles College, plans for a $92-million athletics center were scrapped when it was discovered the college didn't have the funds to pay for the project.

And naturally, there's a feng shui bill: For $250 an hour, a feng shui expert was hired "to give advice on harmonizing new buildings with their surroundings." Some architecture firms, too, made out amid this mess: "At L.A. City College, architects were hired to design a five-story fitness center with a glassed-in dance studio on the top floor. Before construction began, the college president decided to move the fitness center to the other side of campus. There, it would need to be short and wide, not tall and narrow. The $1.8-million design was suddenly worthless. The district paid architects $1.9 million to draft a new one." The series runs all week.
· Waste throws wrench into Los Angeles community colleges' massive project [LAT]