Student housing underway


Carmelita Islas Mendez

Cerritos College is duscussing possibly obtaining a Norwalk property for student housing. President Dr. Jose Fierro said that the conversation is still early on and that the Distric is still looking for representation in the transaction.

Carmelita Islas Mendez, News Editor

Property on Barnwall St. and Studebaker Rd. is being developed for what may be Cerritos College student housing. The townhomes are in possession of Barnwall Townhomes LLC and are being developed by Dennis Huddleston who has worked on the project for for the past five years.


General contractor and developer Huddleston said that the seven homes, which each have three bedrooms and three bathrooms, could house up to about 42 students. He is also working with a non profit organization which would be “buying the property for [Cerritos] College.”


He said, “It is a property that my investors invested in and part of my investors work with [Cerritos] College a lot and so this is something we felt was close enough to the college that it would be good enough for students that can go there.”


Cerritos College President Jose Fierro said in between laughs that he could not confirm or deny that the property would be purchased for student housing.


Fierro said that the conversations on obtaining the property are still early and that they are looking for proper representation for the District on the transaction.


Some concerns with the acquisition of the property included the timeliness of buying property instead of investing it toward faculty and staff. Fierro said that even though there is concern there, the District is restrained in how funds are allocated.


He said, “Our budget come from different places, so having money doesn’t necessarily mean that we have money to spend on salaries. Capital outlay can only be spent on facilities, renovations, updates, maintenance and so on. Our allocation of money comes earmarked for something specific and it is against the law for us to spend it on things that they were not intended for.”


Huddleston said of the possibility of the District purchasing the property, “All the upgrades that the college is doing right now; they’re putting so much money into it and this is a great opportunity for the college and for students that need a place to live and go to college.”it is a very good thing for students who need a place to live.”


Fierro concluded by saying that the topic has been in discussion among Board of Trustee members during the Board’s closed sessions, “It is very early still and yes there an interest and a very valid reason to buy and we are attempting to do that but the conversations are early and there are a number of variable that require the District to study its position to insure that we are doing the right thing.”


The property is still being actively worked on, but will be finished soon. Huddleston said he hopes the District goes ahead with the purchase “because if not these beautiful homes will just be sold off.”