History Of LASC
Los Angeles Southwest College is the product of decades of hard work, vision and perseverance dating back to 1947 to achieve the dream of Mrs. Odessa B. Cox.
The Cox family and a small group of community members fought to bring a comprehensive community college to South Los Angeles.
The first steps toward the realization of this dream were taken in 1950 when the Los Angeles Unified School District purchased 54 acres of land from the Union Oil Company at the corner of Western Avenue and Imperial Highway and added another 16 acres in 1964.
Although a sign was placed onsite in 1950 announcing the college’s expected arrival, many years would pass before construction would begin.
In 1967, the Los Angeles City Board of Education voted for the establishment of an interim college to be named Los Angeles Southwest College. The board later allocated $2 million to build the campus. The first facilities, consisting of 13 bungalows, were transported from Los Angeles City College in February 1967 to prepare for the opening of LASC with classes starting September 11, 1967.
Ten years later, in 1977, new facilities were developed that comprised a building complex, including the Cox Building, Founder’s Library and Little Theatre. A Student Services Education Center was also developed. The buildings provided a sense of permanence and were symbolic of a new era in higher education in the community.
Since its opening in 1967, the college has established itself as a key force in the educational, recreational, and cultural development for the region.
Several academic and occupational programs and a number of faculties have distinguished themselves over the past 46 years, including the Nursing and Child Development departments.
The student body has increased from an opening enrollment of 600 in 1967, to a current population of more than 8,000. The original faculty, staff and administration grew from 22 to more than 300 currently.
LASC expanded in the 1990s with a Technical Education Center, the Thomas G. Lakin Physical Education Center and the Lecture/Laboratory Building. Currently, the campus is undergoing a major transformation with more than $400 million in funds from the Los Angeles Community College District Bond Construction Program.
The college’s modernization efforts include updating existing buildings with new technology and building new “green” facilities.
Recently completed projects include the opening of the Cox Annex and the renovation of the Thomas G. Lakin Physical Education Center and other completed projects include a new student services building, a comprehensive child development center and education complex, athletic stadium and field house, maintenance and operations facility, central plant and a multi-level parking structure.
The next phase of construction is underway with the renovation of the Cox Building, a new library and more.