ThaWilsonBlock Magazine Issue72

William Carey Campus to become EF Boarding School

McGavran Hall
In April, William Carey International University sold its fifteen-acre campus at 539 E. Howard St. to Education First (EF), a large private international education company. The new owner plans to establish an EF Academy International Boarding School at this location. On September 17, the City Council received information on EF's plans and responded very favorably, overall. Prior to the hearing, Pasadena Heritage submitted a letter to the Council expressing support for the project, as proposed at this early planning phase, and offered a few recommendations.

Pasadena Heritage considers it most fortunate that EF purchased the entire campus and will continue using it for educational purposes. We met twice this year with EF representatives and are pleased with their vision for the campus which contains several historic buildings that appear individually eligible for local Landmark designation, most notably McGavran Hall, a 1930 Spanish Colonial Revival educational building that faces E. Howard St. and features a clock tower. We are especially encouraged by EF's plans to retain and rehabilitate the historic buildings, some of which are deteriorating.

We understand that EF will demolish three existing buildings and replace them with a dormitory, and for safety reasons, enclose the campus with a perimeter fence. In our letter to the Council, which was shared with EF, we noted that the buildings proposed for demolition do not appear to be historic but urged further evaluation. We also recommended a fence design that respects the character of the campus and surrounding neighborhood and keeps the green spaces along Howard St. open to the public. The project will go through the City's review process, and we will provide updates as we learn more.

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