Rio Hondo breaks ground on new $28 million P.E. complex
College officially broke ground Tuesday 11/9/10 for a Physical Education
complex that will bring new swimming pools, locker rooms, dance and aerobics
studios and weight-training/wrestling facilities to the south end of campus.
Like many of the structures on campus, the existing P.E. buildings date back
more than five decades, Rio Hondo President Ted Martinez Jr. told about 50
guests at Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremony, including Whittier City
Councilman Owen Newcomer and El Monte Union High School District
Superintendent Nick Salerno. "This
facility has served the college and generations of students over the years -
but it has aged over time," Martinez said. "Now is the time for upgrading
It'll be another 18 months or so before those upgrades are completed,
officials said - but when it's done, there will be a new 41,600-square-foot
facility housing new locker rooms, faculty offices, trainers facilities and
The building's entrance will be shifted to face the south, and a new
160-space parking lot will also be built.
Officials said the two new swimming pools will support intercollegiate
competition and the college's instructional swimming program, as well as
complement the renovated gymnasium.
"It's very exciting to hear all the new features that this new building will
have," said Rio Hondo College ASB President Julianna Ojeda, who spoke on
behalf of students at Tuesday's ceremony.
And the improvements will only add to Rio Hondo's sports programs, which
have recently seen a lot of success, said Steve Hebert, interim dean of P.E.
"A couple of highlights this year: The men's soccer team produced its ninth
consecutive conference championship. The wrestling team joined a new
conference and is ranked 18th in the state," Hebert said.
"The women's soccer team is closing in on a playoff berth; women's water
polo is seeing the best season in about seven years; and men's and women's
cross-country is trying to qualify for the state regional's," he said.
"Women's volleyball is closing in on its first playoff berth in 10 years,
and our baseball team last spring made the final four in California last
As such, Hebert said, the anticipation and excitement that's been building
for a new P.E. complex is "tremendous."
"I'm extremely happy to be here," he said. "It's our time to shine."
The new complex will cost about $28 million, which will be paid for through
state bond funds and the $245 million Measure A bond passed by local voters
The gym and the fitness center will remain open during construction, and
other temporary facilities will be provided to continue the P.E. curriculum
and community access, officials
By Tracy Garcia Staff Writer
in getting a look at the facilities we have to offer?
Aquatic Center - Under construction