The same hill Boyle Heights hill where the publicly owned L.A. County-USC Medical Center is located is also home to the privately owned USC Health Sciences Campus. This is where the Keck School of Medicine, USC Norris Cancer Hospital and numerous other university owned buildings are scattered across 79 acres that sprawls north to Valley Boulevard across the street from Lincoln Park. In 2011, the school adopted a long-term, master plan for its property that could eventually see the construction of more than three million square feet of new classroom space and medical buildings, a 200-bed hotel as well as dorms on the campus.
On Saturday morning, USC will hold a public presentation to review plans for one of the first projects to rise out of this master plan, 157 dorm units that could house up to 447 students. It would be the first, large-scale student housing to be built on the Health Sciences Campus, where now only a handful of residences are available for more than 12,000 students. The dorm would be located on a mostly vacant parcel near San Pablo and Alcazar streets.
“It’s really an important project to improve our competitiveness and to improve the campus,” said Craig Keys, the university’s Associate Senior Vice President for Civic Engagement. Building convenient and affordable on-campus housing will help in attracting students to the school, he said.
The presentation scheduled for Saturday’s is among several the university has made at neighborhood council meeting and at other venues as it seeks to win support for its plans.
While the USC has adopted its master plan or vision for the property, the university must still win city approvals for specific buildings and projects within the property, said Keys. Meanwhile, the County of Los Angeles has also been working on a separate master plan for the adjacent public hospital grounds.
The university would like to open the dorms by August 2016 but it still needs to win city approvals to change existing planning rules and guidelines.
The USC master plan meeting will be held on Saturday, August 3 at 10:30 a.m. and on Thursday, August 8 at 6 p.m. at the Hazard Park Gym, 2230 Norfolk Street.