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Majestic Golf Land Cost LACC Millions, Made College $820k

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Maybe Los Angeles City College demolished Majestic Golf Land in January out of spite for all the trouble it's caused? In today's installment of the LA Times' series on community college construction quagmires, the paper checks out how the driving range mucked up plans for athletic facilities at the LACC campus. It all started in 2000, when the trustees decided to lease out about four acres on Melrose for a commercial driving range. Then in 2001, the college decided to put in an athletic building and a 950 space parking garage on five acres around Majestic. The college spent $1.8 million on designs for a five story athletic building to fit the small site. The project designer tells the LAT that "Designing next to [the driving range's] 175-foot netting and poles had a significant negative effect complicating the design." In 2006, the college's then-president decided to downgrade the expensive plan to a two story building at a different site, which meant all new designs and a very long delay in opening (originally set for 2008, it's now planned for fall 2012).

The parking garage stayed at the Majestic-adjacent site, but during excavation in 2005 an inspector found that it hadn't been "designed to handle the structural pressure transmitted by the range's soil, poles and netting. The netting and poles caught the wind like a sail, increasing the load." Five stabilization plans were rejected by the Division of the State Architect before one was finally approved in 2007, and the contractor demanded compensation for the delay--the school agreed to $5.3 million, but is hoping to get some money back from the architect for the original flaw.

And all of that was pretty much for nought anyway, as the trustees bought out Majestic's lease (with construction bond money) in April 2010 and the college is now building a student center and tennis courts on the site. Over the years, the driving range "generated $820,000 in rental income and fees." The president of the Board of Trustees told the paper that "in retrospect, leasing the land in the first place 'was not a good decision.'"
· Sports facilities tripped up by one misstep after another [LAT]
· Majestic Golf Land Demolished, What's LACC Got Planned? [Curbed LA]

Los Angeles City College

855 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90029