Tag Archives: Mount San Antonio College

Mt. SAC Sporting Complex

Photo: Mt.SAC Athlectics
The opportunity to build a sporting complex nestled amongst mountains and valley’s in such a natural setting is a unique opportunity in California.

By Anthony Saude

Walnut – Mt Sac may have lost the Olympic Trials but that will not deter them from moving forward with the planned upgrades they had in place when the trials were coming to town. The athletic tradition runs deep at Mt. Sac and the new upgrades will carry that tradition well into the future.

“All the construction on the major buildings has begun, the finish work is pending, the project is about 25-30% completed,” said Gary Gidcumb, the manager of the design and construction of the project. ““We have the opportunity to build a sporting complex nestled amongst mountains and valley’s in such a natural setting is a unique opportunity in California. The complex is in the city but the location makes one feel that they have escaped to an urban setting if even for an hour or two,” said Gidcumb. Nobody knows what the future brings and if it brings the Trials back someday, they will be ready.

Mt. SAC has always prided itself on providing service to the sport by hosting world-class events. Like the Mt. SAC Relays and Cross Country Invitational that they have hosted for more than 60 years. Gidcumb said that the motivation for the design is to preserve the integrity and history of the past but overlaid with new, said Gidcumb. We wanted to preserve the most loved traditions of the program without remaining stagnant.” We are proud and passionate about the role this new complex will play in the future histy here at Mt. SAC,” concluded Gidcum.

The college’s plans to build a stadium for their students and community and to keep hosting top notch sporting events remain remains unchanged. Mt. SAC officials are confident that they can continue to be the place where the world’s best athletes compete.


Mt. SAC Board Considers Bond Measure

Photo: commons.wikimedia.org
The meeting is to consider a resolution that would place a general obligation bond measure on the November ballot.

By Anthony Saude

Walnut – The Mt. San Antonio College Board of Trustees scheduled an additional regular meeting for Tuesday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m., in Founders Hall. The meeting is to consider a resolution that would place a general obligation bond measure on the November ballot.

The college’s Educational and Facilities Master Plan has been approved by the board and it lays out how to best serve Mt. SAC’s students for the next decade and beyond. A bond measure would help fund infrastructure repairs, expand career technical education programs and improve the college’s security and emergency systems.

An independent community survey was recently taken and it shows that residents strongly support the affordable, quality programs Mt. SAC offers. The survey provided insight into constituent perspectives on current academic needs. Concerns about safety, vocational education and affordability are at the top of the list. Eighty five percent of respondents want Mt. SAC to expand access to its high quality, affordable education so that more students can attend college.

Residents identified a number of their priorities including: preparing students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities, repairing deteriorating gas, electrical and sewer lines, repairing decaying walls, drainage systems and leaky roofs, improving student safety, improving access for disabled students, and expanding career technical education programs.

Residents recognize the need to keep students safe and expressed their support for upgrades and improvements to the college’s security and emergency systems through the installation of cameras, lighting and other measures.

Up to 76 percent of respondents indicated they would support a 55 percent requirement education bond to make essential upgrades to Mt. SAC.

For the complete report of community survey results, visit http://www.mtsac.edu/efmp/documents/Community_Survey-2018-05.pdf.


Mt. SAC Board Appoints Provisional Trustee

ByAnthony Saude

WALNUT — The Mt. San Antonio College Board of Trustees selected Walnut resident Gary Chow to serve as a provisional trustee, replacing longtime member Dr. David Hall who passed away on April 22.

The appointment was voted on and made official following a special meeting on June 13. The candidates were given 20 minutes to answer questions about community service experience, familiarity with budgets of complex public entities and interacting with diverse populations.

Before the 5-1 vote, Board President Dr. Manuel Baca said, “On behalf of all of the trustees, we thank those who applied. Any one of them would have been an asset to the board.”

Chow will represent Area 2, which includes Covina, West Covina, north Walnut, and San Dimas. He will serve until the next regularly scheduled election for governing board members on November 6.

Chow is a CPA and serves as chair of Walnut Valley Unified School District’s bond oversight committee. He also sits on Mt. SAC’s Community Facilities Plan Advisory Committee and acts as the financial advisor for the Mt. SAC Foundation.

Seven applications of highly qualified individual that met all eligibility criteria to apply for the position were received by the college. In addition to Chow, the following six residents applied:

Michael Miller Brown (Walnut), Alan A. Carrico (West Covina), Mansfield Collins (Walnut), Ruth Luevand (San Dimas), Rosalyn Phan (Covina), Drexel L. Smith (West Covina).

The Board of Trustees is the policy-making body of the college; it consists of seven elected community members representing seven districts and one student trustee.


David Hall Passes Away

By Anthony Saude

WalnutIt is with great sadness we mourn the passing of the Regional Chamber of Commerce

San Gabriel Valley Board Chair/President, Dr. David Hall, he fought courageously during his long battle with cancer.


David K. Hall, 72, passed away on Sunday, April 22, 2018, he was surrounded by friends and loved ones.


David was born on July 16, 1945 in Coffeyville, Kansas and graduated from the University of Kansas in 1966, David was a dedicated Jayhawk sports fan his entire life. He obtained his doctorate in political science from Stanford University. David enlisted in the Air Force during the Vietnam War years, there he taught at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After his years in the service he taught at Brown University and at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. In the early 90’s he changed life direction and moved to Los Angeles, joining Hitchcock Automotive Resources.


David’s long list of professional accomplishments and accolades are remarkable but his community and public service efforts are what defined him in his life. As a longtime elected Trustee for Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, California, David mentored countless students and helped transform the college. He always made time to meet with students privately, advise them on career paths and participate in campus events. Annually, he’d even perform in some of the on campus stage shows to help raise funds for student scholarships.


Everything David committed to he did with dedication, passion in an approachable, coachable and infectious way. His sense of humor was contagious allowing him to elicit laughter even in tense situations. He was a practical joker, never missing a chance to play a trick on a close friend or colleague. Endearingly, he found his own antics very funny.


David was so many things to so many people: a teacher, a friend, a confidant, a mentor, a public servant, a philanthropist, a partner and a leader. While his soul is laid to rest, his legacy lives on.

David is Survived by his Fiancé Earnestine Tu, and his two brothers Bruce and Roger Hall.


A close friend of David’s, Michael Armijo said,” He had a strong genuine concern for the community, he was constantly trying to help people and he gave his heart to the residents. He was like a brother to me, he always made time”.


Celebration of Life services will be held at Mt. San Antonio College on May 11th at 9:30 am in the Clark auditorium.


In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Dr. David K. Hall Business Scholarship


USATF Pulls Olympic Trials From Mt. SAC

Staff Reports

Walnut – Mt. San Antonio College was recently informed by USA Track and Field (USATF), that it will no longer host the 2020 USA Olympic Team Track and Field Trials. This decision means that USATF would reopen bidding for a new event venue.

While we are disappointed, we accept that the terms of the agreement give USATF the authority to withdraw from this commitment.

In June 2017, Mt. SAC was selected to host the 10-day event because of its long history of successfully holding world-class track and field events.  In the press release from USATF announcing our selection, board chair Steve Miller said, “Mt. SAC has long been one of the top meets in the country, from an athlete performance perspective as well as from an organizational perspective.”

The USATF referenced litigation from the City of Walnut and United Walnut Taxpayers as the reason for its decision. The two lawsuits that were mentioned have either been settled or ruled by a judge in the college’s favor, as was reported in Our Weekly News last week. Officials at Mt. SAC remain confident in their ability to deliver a completed stadium on time and a have a very successful event.

There will certainly be big losses at the college, including financial commitments, relationships with new and existing partners and thousands of hours of lost time. Most importantly, the entire Greater Los Angeles region will lose the economic impact of at least $37 million, which is the amount generated in 2016 by this event.

The Mt. SAC Local Organizing Committee is ready to execute the plans to host the 2020 in the event USATF reconsiders their decision. Regardless of what the future holds, Mt. SAC will be looking forward to continuing their well-established, positive relationship with USATF. Nobody knows what the future brings and if it brings the Trials back someday, they will be ready.

Mt. SAC has always prided itself on providing service to the sport by hosting world-class events. Like the Mt. SAC Relays and Cross Country Invitational that they have hosted for more than 60 years.

The college’s plans to build a stadium for their students and community, and to keep hosting top notch events remain unchanged. Mt. SAC officials are confident that they can continue to be the place where the world’s best athletes compete.


Mt. SAC to Honor Twenty Students of Distinction

By Anthony Saude

WALNUT – Twenty students will be honored this year at Mt. San Antonio College’s annual “Students of Distinction” awards ceremony. The luncheon will take place on Saturday, May 12 at 11:30 a.m. at the Pacific Palms Resort, 1 Industry Hills Parkway, in the City of Industry.

These prestigious awards recognize selected students for their competitive, academic, and personal achievements as well as their outstanding service to the college. Recipients of this year’s Academic Achievement Award, which is awarded to students who have maintained a minimum 3.75 GPA, are Matthew McBride of West Covina, Kevin Schmitt of Diamond Bar, Samantha Alvarez of Chino, Myriam Hakimeh of San Dimas, Daniel Garcia of Ontario, and Edilberto Ylo of Walnut.

Recipients of the Service Achievement Award, who provided exceptional volunteer service to their college and their community and also maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA, are Corey Case of Chino, Maricela Aviles of La Puente, and Mohsin Moosa of Diamond Bar.

The Personal Achievement Award is given to those students who have overcame personal hardship while still maintaining a minimum 2.75 GPA. This year’s winners are Sandra Nunez of West Covina, Geovanna Castillo Lopez of Chino, Tera Vaughn of Rancho Cucamonga, Xingyi (Mirana) Cao of Chino Hills, Mickey Qiu of West Covina, Seya Guerrero of Rowland Heights, and Amanada Frausto of Chino.

The Competitive Achievement award is presented to those who earned a minimum 3.0 GPA and earned distinction for success as part of a competitive student group or team. The students who will receive the award this year are Amir Freeman of Pomona, Kyle Beck of Rancho Cucamonga, Angelica Cruz of Covina, and Ryon Knowles of Corona.

If you are interested in attending this year’s ceremony and luncheon, tickets cost $20 and must be purchased by May 7 through Mt. SAC’s Student Life Office. You can contact them at (909) 274-4525.


Mt. SAC to Hold “Cash for College”

Staff Reports

WALNUT– Mt. San Antonio College will offer free financial aid assistance to area high school seniors and their parents during its annual “Cash for College” fair on Saturday, Feb. 3. The event will include three sessions starting at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11:30 a.m.

“This event is all about helping students fill out the necessary financial aid forms so that they don’t miss out on thousands of dollars that may be available to them,” said Mt. SAC Financial Aid Director Chau Dao.

Cash for College provides hands-on assistance to college-bound students and their parents in completing and filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms for the 2018-19 academic year. The event also helps students maximize their financial aid prospects by meeting the March 2 priority financial aid filing deadline. Assistance with the California Dream Act application will also be available. Filing applications early is recommended.

Parents and students must bring a copy of students’ Social Security cards or permanent resident cards, and a 2016 federal 1040 tax return and W-2. If 2016 information is not available, a 2015 tax return may be used along with 2015 W-2 forms. The workshop information and assistance can be used to apply to any college, not just Mt. SAC.

To make a reservation, visit the event website online at http://www.mtsac.edu/financialaid/cashfair.html.

For more information, call the Mt. SAC Financial Aid Office at (909) 274-4553.


Mt. SAC Spring Registration Begins

By Mike Taylor, Mt. SAC

WALNUT– Online registration for Mt. San Antonio College’s spring semester credit classes began Jan. 13.  Classes begin on Monday, Feb. 22.
All credit students must register for classes online through the My Mt. SAC Portal at my.mtsac.edu. New students must submit an admission application online. For students who do not have computer access, computers and assistance are available in the Student Services Center during business hours. The Admissions Office is open now Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Before registering, new students are required to activate their personal Mt. SAC portal account through the My Mt. SAC Portal at my.mtsac.edu. Instructions on how to do this, along with a username, are sent to the new student’s email address the student used when applying to the college.  Through the portal.mtsac.edu, students will be able to view their registration date and time but will not be allowed to register before their assigned time. New students must also sign up for their assessment tests at the Assessment Center.  Appointments can be made at www.mtsac.edu/assessment, by calling (909) 274-4265, or in person at the Assessment Center.

Students are urged to prepare for assessment testing by reviewing the information available on the Assessment Center webpage.
In addition, new students must also sign up for the required new student orientation session before registering for classes. For more information about required orientation sessions, call the Mt. SAC Counseling Department at (909) 274-4380.
The enrollment fee is $46 per unit for California residents, and all fees are due upon registration.

For more registration information, call the Mt. SAC Admissions & Records Office at (909) 274-4415, or visit www.mtsac.edu

Mt. SAC Breaks Ground on $46M Business Tech Center

Photo Courtesy of Mt. SAC

Photo Courtesy of Mt. SAC
Mt. San Antonio College’s Board of Trustees’ dig in for their ground breaking ceremony held on Thursday, Oct. 22 where their new Business and Computer Complex will be built.

By Monique Valadez

WALNUT– Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut formally broke ground on its new business and computer complex Oct. 22.

Designed to fulfill the academic needs of the school’s business and computer technology programs and other programs well into the 21st century, the 87,000-square-foot complex will comprise three buildings including new technology-based classrooms, lab-based learning environments and a student-run restaurant.

“This is going to be a state-of-the-art complex that will consolidate our business and computer programs in one central area,” said Mt. SAC Business Dean Jennifer Galbraith.

The new complex, located south of the tennis courts and west of the Language Center, building 66, will bring much-needed space for a wide range of programs including paralegal studies, accounting, computer information systems, office technology, culinary arts, hospitality management and interior design.

The three-building complex will also feature the Language Learning Center and computer security lab.

In addition, a lobby will be added to the west side of building 66 to connect this building to the rest of the campus through a new pedestrian path.

The new complex is expected to cost $46 million by completion in the spring of 2018, college officials said. Construction begins in December. Half of the project is funded through Measure RR, Mt. SAC’s $353-million facilities bond approved by voters in 2008.

Measure R and Measure RR has brought an influx in construction to the campus. A $16.6 million Student Success Center opens in 2016 and $14.7 million food service center opens in December.
Several complaints have been arriving on the Walnut city council’s desks regarding the campus’ growth. Residents along with city officials filed a lawsuit on construction of a $48 million five-level parking garage earlier this year.
A $3.8 million solar-power project was recently approved by the college’s board members but some locals say the “solar farm” project would cause traffic congestion and would be an eyesore. College officials say that the project could save the campus nearly half a million dollars in energy costs annually.

Photo courtesy: Mt. SAC Artist rendering of the new business and computer complex.

Photo courtesy: Mt. SAC
Artist rendering of the new business and computer complex.

Walnut: Big Wins For Mt. SAC Students

By Mike Taylor

Walnut – Mt. San Antonio College vocational education student, Troy Majeska, won a silver medal at the SkillsUSA 51st Annual National Leadership Conference competition, June 22-27, in Louisville, KY.
Majeska, of La Habra, won the silver medal in the Residential Systems Installation competition, facing five competitors from other colleges across the nation.
The SkillsUSA championships are showcases for the best career and technical students in the country. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels. More than 6,000 students competed at this year’s national event.
SkillsUSA is a nationally affiliated vocational club representing secondary and post-secondary students in the trade, technical and health fields. The vocational education organization represents more than a quarter million students in over 13,000 chapters nationwide.

At another event, Mt. SAC’s health career students recently won eight medals – four silver and four bronze – at the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) national competition held at the Anaheim Hilton. More than 8,000 secondary and post-secondary students competed in 56 different health-related events at the national leadership event held June 24-28.
Amy Barraza (Cudahy),Yessenia Campos (El Monte), Jose Montiel-Flores (Baldwin Park), and Yvonne Prempeh (Fontana) all won silver medals in the biomedical debate competition.
Daniel Lee (Fullerton), Holly Miller (La Habra), Noehly Partida (Pomona), and Leilani Soto (Ontario) all won bronze medals in the creative problem solving competition.
Jessica Benavente (Hesperia), Patrick Chan (La Puente), and Nicole Villanueva (Pomona) were finalists in the creative problem solving event.
“We had 11 competitors this year, and all 11 ranked nationally as finalists. That is quite an achievement,” said Mt. SAC psychiatric technician professor and HOSA advisor, Mary Ellen Reyes. “Being involved in and competing in HOSA is a life-changing experience for students.”
HOSA, established in 1976 by the U.S. Department of Education, is the national organization for secondary and post-secondary health career students. The organization provides students in 40 states with skills, leadership development, and career development.

Walnut: Council Corner 06/25/2014


Mt Sac Womens track and field

Mayor Tony Cartagena and members of City Council congratulated the Mt. SAC Women’s Track and Field Team on their 2014 state championship, with coaches Ron Kamara (L) and Dough Todd (R). (Photo Courtesy: Raymond Mendoza)

Walnut – Walnut’s City Council members met at City Hall council chambers on Wed., June 25 to discuss regular City business matters and hold a public hearing concerning the denial of a conditional use permit for the DiMiYa HeadStart Learning Center.

Council members first held a presentation to recognize the Mount San Antonio College Women’s Track and Field Team on their 2014 State Championship win.

“Congratulations on an outstanding season,” Mayor Tony Cartagena said. “On behalf of the City of Walnut, I would like to say congratulations for your efforts and sacrifice while keeping your grades high.”

After approving the minutes for the May 28 study session and June 11 City Council meetings, the council then opened its public hearing in regard to a previously denied conditional use permit for the proposed DiMiYa HeadStart Learning Center, located at 351 N. Lemon Ave. Community Development Director, Tom Weiner, outlined a staff report concerning the permit denied by the Walnut Planning Commission on May 7, citing safety concerns for students and traffic congestion for the shopping plaza with the various businesses.

“We feel this will impact other retail uses,” Weiner said. “One of the main things was traffic circulation. You get a lot of traffic through there and there are no parking spaces directly in front of the business space.”

Weiner said the business location would suffer from a lack of parking spaces for the business and that the rear parking spaces might not be sufficient for the number of occupants that the business owners intend on serving. Business owner Jean Navarro said that DiMiYa would be an after-school California Certified Heritage School to enhance education for students ages four and nine months to nine years old.

“If the parking lot is not safe for DiMiYa, how is it safe for Vons?” Navarro said. “How is it safe for New York Pizzeria or the Aims Academy? … With all that said, we would like the Mayor and City Council members to consider opening the DiMiYa Learning Center in Walnut.”

Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Tragarz said one of the main problems with clearing DiMiYa’s conditional use permit was the unclear age range for students, which its application said would include kindergarten age, while Council Member Bob Pacheco still cited safety concerns for the student ages. After the public hearing was closed, Councilmember Eric Ching opted to approve the appeal after hearing the various facts from the DiMiYa representatives, but his motion failed to receive any other support from council members. Instead, the council members voted to create new terms and bring the issue back to City Council at another time, pending the cooperation of DiMiYa and the property owner.

Council members went on to approve Ordinance No. 14-02 concerning adding language to the Walnut Municipal Code for parking in City-owned parking lots, and Ordinance No. 14-03 establishing locations for meetings and official postings.

After the ordinances were finished, the council members went on to approve several items on the consent calendar, including a resolution of the City of Walnut allowing certain claims and demands in the amount of $1,469,201.48, pending a review of the city’s attorney and pulling a section of a demand concerning billing; Resolution No. 14-28 concerning the City’s annual budget for fiscal year 2014-15 in the amount of $16,634,780; Resolution No. 14-29 for an approval and adoption for the annual appropriations limit for fiscal year 2014-15; Resolution No. 14-30 approving the current County of Los Angeles bail schedule for infractions and misdemeanors; Resolution No. 14-31 for an amending resolution regarding the payment of salaries, sick leave, vacations, leave of absences, and other regulations by revising the authorized positions and salary schedule; the crossing guard services contract renewal for 2014-15; and final acceptance of the 2013-14 maintenance area 2 slurry seal program.

Council members moved to pull item 11, concerning the City Manager employment agreement amendment, to bring back the item for approval either in July or August. Council members then moved to approve the Walnut Successor Agency budget totaling $4,064,000.

After the Walnut Public Financing Authority and Housing Authority meetings, the council members adjourned to closed session with plans to meet July 9 at 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers at 21201 La Puente Road.

Walnut Council Corner 05.28.14


Walnut – Walnut City Council members met Wed., May 28 for their final meeting of the month, which sparked heated discussion about the parking situation at Mount San Antonio College from nearby residents.
The meeting began when City Council members awarded residents Mary Lee Saint John and Vic Saint John for their active membership in the Walnut Walkers club, which promotes healthy activity from senior citizens in the city. Mayor Tony Cartagena thanked the two for their work with the club and helping with its growth, outgoing spirit, and healthy attitude.
“Every Sunday night, Mary Lee makes individual phone calls to every walker on the list, reminding and encouraging them to show up,” Cartagena said. “Because of her commitment, the Walnut Walkers are currently an active and energetic group with about 40 members to promote exercise and staying healthy.”
After the award presentation, the City Council approved the May 14 meeting minutes and Resolution No. 14-25 for the City of Walnut allowing certain claims and demands in the amount of $1,117,762.36.
The council then began its discussion of the parking structure construction at Mt. SAC, with a staff report from City Attorney, Mike Montgomery.
Public outcry for a Council discussion has been ongoing for several months, with residents complaining about the lack of parking at the community college and students parking in nearby neighborhoods.
“It’s parking has overflowed in the community through the years, as a result of probably outgrowing its original capacity,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery noted that Measure RR was approved in November 2008 for the $350 million bond issued to make improvements to the campus, which included a parking structure for more than 200 spaces. He said that cities have minimal authority for structures established in community college campuses. Montgomery also said that after years of planning and tests, the campus is entering its final stages before construction starts in 2015.
Residents then had the chance to ask questions pertaining to the progress of construction on the parking structure. Residents also questioned the limits of capacity at Mt SAC, stating that the population of the school has become so large that its facilities are no longer able to support the number of students.
Complaints from Walnut residents filled the council chamber pertaining to noise pollution, actual pollution, overcrowding, and unsafe traffic hazards caused by students.
With all the concerns of the residents, Cartagena then appointed Bob Pacheco and Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Tragarz to meet with the administration from Mt. SAC sometime in June to discuss matters pertaining to resolving overcrowding issues.
City Council officially adjourned at 8:45 p.m., with plans to hold its next meeting on June 11 at 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers, located at 21201 La Puente Road.