Campus: Long Beach -- August 14, 2007

California State University, Long Beach to Purchase Brooks College Property, Use It Primarily as Student Living and Learning Community

Officials at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) announced today that the university will purchase the property currently occupied by Brooks College for $11.1 million and will use the site primarily to expand housing opportunities for its students.

The facility also contains many classrooms and computer laboratories, which will be used to provide courses and other academic programming. Additionally, there will be a number of faculty housing opportunities on the 5.04-acre campus.

The university is expected to take over the operations of the property by June 2009.

“Increasing student living and learning opportunities is an important priority for our campus,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “Acquiring the five-acre site allows us to more immediately address this growing need while also providing greater flexibility to expand academic course offerings and programming.

“I’ve made no secret of the fact that I believe the campus should have more university-run housing for our students and create new opportunities for residential living and learning communities,” Alexander added. “Currently, we have a long waiting list of students hoping to live on campus or in other forms of university housing. The Brooks College site will help fill a part of that need.”

The Executive Board of the CSULB Foundation -- the independent, non-profit arm of the university -- approved the purchase on Monday following the completion of a 120-day “due diligence” phase. During this phase, campus representatives and a team of professional advisors looked over the site and did a thorough assessment of its facilities.

Brooks College is a for-profit fashion, design and technology school owned by the Career Education Corporation (CEC). It has a lease on the property until June 2009, which coincides with its scheduled closure. The college is no longer enrolling new students, but current students are in the process of completing their programs. The final graduation for the college is set for March 2009.

Located at 4825 E. Pacific Coast Highway, the Brooks College property is just one mile from the CSULB campus. Owned by the Tilley Development Corporation, the site includes three residential/classroom/office buildings, which were built around 1964, with 177,000 total square feet, including 50,000 square feet of classroom and office space. There is also a building that serves as the dining hall, and there are computer laboratories and a swimming pool.

The current housing capacity at Brooks is about 540 students. Already, there are nearly 200 CSULB students living in the college’s facilities, and there is a shuttle service that brings those students to the CSULB campus and back to Brooks. With some modifications to the current buildings, university officials plan on housing up to 700 students by the time CSULB takes over the property.

“The purchase of this property is an economically viable transaction for Cal State Long Beach, and it makes sense,” noted Bill Griffith, CSULB’s vice president of administration and finance. “The site is about one mile from the campus; the university has students living there now; there is already a shuttle service that gets students to the campus; and the site’s current primary use is housing, which is something the university has a need for.”

“Plus, because the site will be used for student housing, it will be self-supporting and not a financial drain on the university or the foundation,” he continued. “Finally, the project supports President Alexander’s desire to increase student housing and to create comprehensive residential living and learning communities. This does so at a lower cost and lower risk. In fact, the total cost of this project will be less than one-third what it would cost to build new student housing for 700 students.”

When the campus does take over the site, the university’s Office of Housing and Residential Life will operate the student dorms, the 49er Shops will operate the food service, and the University Police will manage security for the property. The Parking/Transportation and Event Services Office will manage the parking and increased shuttle service to and from the campus.

The acquisition of the Brooks College site will represent the first addition to residential housing for CSULB students in 21 years. The Parkside Commons and International House, which both house university students, opened on the campus in 1986.

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