BY SHELLI DEROBERTIS
EC San Diego, an English Language school at 1012 Prospect St. since 1992, petitioned the La Jolla Permit Review Committee at its Aug. 12 meeting to approve an expansion plan to convert the vacant office space within its building into classroom areas to accommodate an increase in the number of students from 65 to 300.
Project architect Claude Anthony Marengo said the number of school employees is also increasing from 10 to 25.
“We don’t have any tenants on the third floor and we’re trying to expand,” said the school’s director, Martha Delgadillo.
Plans call for the multi-level building to also make way for three, outdoor seating areas for students during their classroom breaks.
Marengo said the school’s location, near many restaurants, will bring additional business to the establishments during lunch hours.
There is underground parking at the facility with all-day valet service for student and staff vehicles, but the majority of students don’t drive, Delgadillo said.
The school offers English language classes from beginning to advanced levels.
Delgadillo said students are typically foreign-born, ages 17-25, and stay with host families or rent an apartment with other students while they are enrolled in the program.
She said the school was formerly called the International Center for American English, but became EC San Diego in 2008, and is part of an international group of 15 schools that belong to a private corporation.
The school operates weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., but it also provides students with scheduled weekend activities, such as trips to the Del Mar Racetrack or to Las Vegas.
On the first day of each new class, Delgadillo said she takes the group to the La Jolla Visitor Center around the corner on Herschel Avenue.
“We give them a little orientation of the area so they’re not so lost,” she said. “For most of them, it’s their first time in the United States.”
The project now goes before the La Jolla Community Planning Association, which meets at 4 p.m. the first Thursday of the month at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. The next meeting is Sept. 6.