Educating residents on how to interact with law enforcement was at the top of the agenda for the “Know Your Rights” panel recently held in Compton. The event, held in the wake of the deaths of African Americans Sandra Bland and Sam DuBose, which involved police interactions that began as traffic stops that escalated in both cases. Panelists, pointing to these national headlines, stressed the importance of the black community knowing their civil rights in such situations.
Cutting a crimson ribbon often heralds a new building. For El Camino College Compton Center, it also represents a new beginning.
Visible from Artesia Boulevard, the two-story Library-Student Success Center that opened in March towers over the comparatively flat classroom buildings. A grand opening on Tuesday featured building tours and speeches by officials and community members to celebrate the addition. The glass building has already become the college’s focal point.
The building is spacious and high-tech with chrome embellishments and a clean white interior that matches the futuristic gleaming glass. Some parts of the building even boast floor-to-ceiling windows. The first floor serves as an art gallery and library, while the Student Success Center with four drop-in tutoring centers occupies the second floor along with a writing lab with 100 computers and conference rooms for supplemental programs open to students and faculty.
The opening is especially significant because the Library-Student Success Center has sat lifeless for years.
The building was slated to open in 2007, but building code violations kept it closed. The $25 million needed for upgrades finally came from 2002’s Measure CC general obligation bond and State Capital Outlay funding – but only after Compton’s four councilmembers lobbied full throttle for funds for the 44th Congressional District, which includes Compton.
Read more about the building code violations in the Los Angeles Times: Compton Community College library opens seven years later than planned