Updated: Mar 17, 2022
Located on Fulton Avenue, construction on College Road North is weeks away from completion.
By Cassandra Nava, Editor-in-Chief
The construction that has been obscuring the front view of Valley College is set to be completed on March 28, featuring new sustainability and safety efforts.
The road includes two separate parking lots for students and faculty: a thin lot in front of the Library and Academic Resource Center on Fulton Avenue and Parking Lot B for students on Oxnard Street. Once sealant is applied to the asphalt and the parking stripes are painted, the lot will be available for parking. Valley is working off of its Stormwater Master Plan, which outlines a strategy to redirect stormwater runoff into the soil rather than the sewer system. Runoff stormwater can damage ecosystems and impair the integrity of water quality by picking up fertilizers, dirts and oils that eventually make their way into the ocean.
Valley’s construction and renovation projects webpage states that “vegetated bioretention swales” will be installed along the west edge of the road. Vegetated swales are shallow, sloped pieces of landscape designed to absorb runoff water, preventing it from landing in the city’s drainage system. When it rains, the rainwater will penetrate the soil and in turn prevent pollutants from seeping into local waterways.
“In Los Angeles, stormwater runoff has been a problem for a very long time,” said George Leddy, Valley adjunct professor of environmental science. “Filtering stormwater drains is critical to conserve coastal aquatic systems. The dog waste creates a lot of coliform bacteria that makes surfers and beachgoers sick. The other pollutants take a long time to break down.”
The project is part of Valley’s larger plan to increase sustainability efforts. Buildings surpassing 7,500 square feet must incorporate “green standards” and be certified by the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design program. The program certifies buildings that meet environmental standards which benefit students and community members. At least 11 Valley buildings are LEED certified.
“Construction costs will increase but should be offset by rebates, incentives, and long-term savings through conservation of energy and water,” states the college’s Revitalizing Valley Bond Program website.
Along with the environmental solutions, the revamped College Road North will include “provisions for security camera surveillance and emergency blue phones.” Emergency blue phones, located in parking lots throughout campus, alert a dispatch center to connect to local police and fire departments. Usually, the phones will emit a flashing light when in use in order to help passersby and first responders locate the individual in need.
With the completion of the stormwater project on the North end of the road, Valley will move on to its next construction project, College Road South. Located on the same street, this project will include similar measures. The construction will span from March 14 to approximately May 15.
The North and South portions of the road will be closed from March 14 to March 28. Alternative parking for students includes parking Lot A, Lot B and the parking structure on Ethel Avenue. The college’s circular driveway on Fulton Avenue will remain open throughout the construction process.