Work to Begin on Replacement Gym at Pasadena City College

Ground will be broken Wednesday for a gymnasium at Pasadena City College as part of the final, $21.7-million phase of the community college's 10-year make-over.

The 65,000-square-foot athletic facility, which is scheduled to open in mid-1999, will include several basketball courts and a fitness center, plus classrooms for sports medicine and other physical education courses. A pool and track will also be built at the Del Mar Boulevard site.

The center replaces the college's original men's gymnasium and stadium buildings, which were built in 1926. These structures, the oldest of any community college in the state, could not house many of the college's classes and sports programs.

"The buildings were too small and too old and some people considered them a health hazard," said Mark Wallace, a spokesman for the college.

Pasadena City College is financing the project with $19 million in state bond funds earmarked for higher education, with the remainder coming from charitable gifts. The much-newer women's gym will remain as part of the complex.

The project caps a 10-year renovation of the 74-year-old community college, which included the construction of a library, child development center, parking structure, student center and sculpture garden.

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