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USC wants to improve access and raise the profile of its Health Science Campus, a complex of hospitals, medical facilities, classrooms and research labs that spreads across a hillside immediately north of the L.A. County-USC Medical Center in Boyle Heights. Part of a $3.5 million USC Health Campus Beautification plan would to widen and extend Norfolk Street on the eastern edge of the campus to Soto Street, where a “primary gateway” with monument signs would be built to increase the public presence of the nearly 80-acre campus. But extending Norfolk Street means disturbing portions of Hazard Park, which does not sit well with some residents, according to the Mayor Sam blog.
While the university plans to plant street trees and add decorative brick pavement and other features, some residents say the plan will mean the loss of mature trees and ball courts. Ray Rios of the Hillside Village Property Owners Association said in a Facebook post:
This would entail that they cut through a portion of Hazard Park, crossing the natural “Wetlands,” knocking down the handball courts, and bring their traffic through the park. Why? To make it more convenient for their employees and patients to access their medical facilities. If you do not agree with USC’s plans, please attend and voice your opposition.
The project is scheduled to be discussed tonight, Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 6:30 p.m. at a community meeting at the Hazard Park Recreation Center.