The Art Center College of Design has won the city's approval of a master plan that will permit it to enlarge its classroom space by 50,000 square feet and add parking for 200 cars.
Ronald Jernigan, executive vice president of the college, said construction could begin this fall. He said changing technology has forced the college to devote more space to computer equipment, creating a classroom shortage.
Some residents near the college have worried that the proposed construction could be a forerunner of more extensive development.
"What some neighbors are afraid of is that we intend to expand," Jernigan said.
But, he said, the college operates under a city permit that limits full-time enrollment to 1,500 students and no more than 1,250 may be on campus at any one time. The college has 1,000 full-time students in its summer session and up to 1,200 during the remainder of the year, he said.
"Our purpose in life is not to be big but to be the best design school in the world," Jernigan said.