Chula Vista

Chula Vista, San Diego State Take First Step Towards Possible New University Site

SDSU will expand its cinema and media programs with a new facility in Chula Vista

NBC Universal, Inc.

The mayor called it a “huge win." The state assemblyman called it “the first step."

On Wednesday, the City of Chula Vista and state leaders joined dignitaries from San Diego state University and the Cal state University Board of Trustees to announce plans for a new Cinematic Arts Academic Center and Library, which would be located in the Millenia development in the Otay Ranch part of town.

The $89 million facility would house new studios and workspaces for SDSU’s Television, Film, and New Media program. The 168,000-square-foot facility would also contain Chula Vista’s first new public library since 1995.

Mayor Mary Casillas Salas said the partnership will open doors in the South Bay.

“For [SDSU] to put their cinema program here in Chula Vista is such a huge win for all of us,” said Mayor Salas.

“This is really important,” added state Assemblyman David Alvarez, who helped secure $25 million in state funding for the project. Chula Vista is offering $59 million while the state is offering $5 million more.

“We need to create more opportunities for classroom space. That’s what this is going to do,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez and Salas both said moving the SDSU cinematic program to Chula Vista in a new facility is a big first step towards building a much larger, four-year university in the South Bay. Chula Vista has been working for roughly 30 years to lure one to town. The city has already reserved 383 acres of land along the city’s east side for a future university site.

“This is the first step,” said Assemblyman Alvarez, an SDSU graduate.

“It will be a campus down here. This is just the beginning,” added CSU Trustee Jack McGrory. “I would love to see an Institute for Mexican/American Relations here.”

McGrory added Chula Vista would be an ideal location to expand San Diego State.

“We have maxed out on the Mesa right now,” he said.

Local universities have started in stranger ways.

“I like to remind people when [Cal State] San Marcos got started. They started at a middle school,” smiled Alvarez.

SDSU’s new Cinematic Arts Academic Center and Library would be a much better start in Chula Vista.

“The idea is to incubate the program here and eventually to grow into a bigger university,” concluded Mayor Salas.

Construction is set to begin next year and should be completed by 2025.

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