MONTEREY PARK — A Monterey Park councilman's suggestion that the Alhambra School Board consider East Los Angeles College as a high school site was rejected this week by the college president and the school superintendent.
Councilman Barry L. Hatch had proposed a campus that would be shared by the two-year college and the high school as a way of avoiding demolition of homes in Monterey Park to clear land for a high school.
But the college president said the campus lacks space for a high school, and the school superintendent said the college lies outside the Alhambra school district's boundaries anyway.
The council this week instructed Mayor G. Monty Manibog to write a letter to the school board opposing two proposed school sites in Monterey Park that now are occupied by houses, apartments, condominiums and businesses.
The school board is considering a half-dozen sites in Rosemead as well as the Monterey Park sites in its search for a location for a new high school to relieve overcrowding at Alhambra, Mark Keppel and San Gabriel high schools.
The Rosemead City Council has gone on record against any Rosemead location, on the ground that most of the school district's enrollment growth has occured elsewhere, mainly in Monterey Park. The Alhambra district serves Alhambra, San Gabriel and parts of Monterey Park and Rosemead.
Manibog said the Monterey Park council would welcome a high school in the city if a site could be found that would not force families to move.
The Monterey Park site that has attracted the most attention, 35 acres at Monterey Pass Road and Garvey Avenue, would displace 186 houses.
Hatch said that he proposed the use of the East Los Angeles College campus for a high school because college enrollment has been declining, the high school could share such facilities as the football stadium and parking lots and a shared campus would allow gifted students to take college courses.
Arthur Avila, president of East Los Angeles College, said the campus already is accommodating 240 students from Garfield and Roosevelt high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The program relieves overcrowding at the high schools and introduces talented students to college life, he said.
This program could be expanded to take in students from the Alhambra district, but the campus does not have room to develop a full high school, he said.
Avila said East Los Angeles College enrollment reached a peak of 17,000 several years ago and declined to 11,300 last year, but is up 12% this year, to 12,650.
The same enrollment growth that is crowding local high schools now is likely to increase community college enrollment later, Avila said.
Supt. Bruce Peppin of the Alhambra school district said the idea of a shared campus seems impractical to him. More important, he added, East Los Angeles College is within the city limits of Monterey Park but outside the Alhambra school district boundaries. The campus is in the Los Angeles Unified School District, he said.
East Los Angeles College primarily serves students from the Los Angeles, Alhambra and Montebello school districts.