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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information
(310) 434-4209
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: Oct. 27, 2003
www.smc.edu/emeritus

EMERITUS COLLEGE MOVES INTO NEW OFFICE BUILDING

     Santa Monica College's acclaimed Emeritus College is settling into its new headquarters in a recently completed, sleek four-story office building in downtown Santa Monica.

     The move, which occurred earlier this month, makes history in two ways: it secures a permanent home for the program and it marks the first completed project funded by Measure U, the $160 million bond passed by Santa Monica-Malibu voters in 2002.

     Although work still remains to be done in some parts of the building, Emeritus College students and instructors are settling in quickly, praising the new facility for its ample space, light-drenched design, and custom-tailored classrooms for everything from yoga to art to stroke rehabilitation courses.

     “We are all so fortunate to have Emeritus College,” said Emeritus student Sylvia Zalk. “Now with this state-of-the-art facility, we have the icing on the cake.”

     Highlights of the new building include a ground-level art gallery, expected to be opened in 2004; a 99-seat multi-purpose room still under construction that will be used for theatre readings, recitals, film screenings, lectures and more; an aerobics/physical fitness room comparable to established dance studios; and the D’Arcy Hayman Art Center that takes up an entire floor and includes two large art classrooms, a student lounge and a music and theater library.

     The building also includes conference rooms, lecture classrooms and a computer room that will eventually house 24 computers, all connected to the Internet. Located at 1227 Second St. in downtown Santa Monica next to a large parking structure and right on bus routes, the building also features outdoor patios and balconies.

     The new Emeritus College facility was designed by RTK Architects in Santa Monica. With 24,000 square feet, it is four times larger than the former Emeritus facility, which was also on Second Street but was under a municipal parking structure and was rented from the city of Santa Monica.

     "Emeritus College has moved 14 times in its 28-year history," said Maggie Hall, associate dean of Emeritus College, who has been with the program since it was started. "Imagine how thrilled we are to have a beautiful, permanent home. It's a dream come true."

     Last year, the SMC Board of Trustees voted to purchase the contemporary glass building for $8.65 million. Still under construction at the time, the structure was custom designed on the interior for Emeritus. With additional interior work, the college has spent a total of $8.8 million of Measure U funds on the project. On top of that, Emeritus College has spent about $750,000 in private donations for interior work and furniture.

College officials have said their No. 1 priority for Measure U funds was a permanent home for Emeritus.
Emeritus is the acclaimed program that provides a wide range of classes – ranging from the arts to current affairs to health – designed for older adults. In its 28-year history, it has grown from less than 200 students to a current enrollment of 2,500, with about 70 instructors.

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