The following article appeared in the Citrus College Clarion on September 9, 2015.
Azusa Awaits Opening of Two New Gold Line Stations – Citrus College Clarion
By Jaclyn Spencer
September 9, 2015
After years of petitioning and planning, Citrus College and Azusa Pacific University students, faculty and staff are another step closer to riding the Gold Line.
The Metro Gold Line is a 19.7 mile rail line train running from Pasadena to Downtown Los Angeles. The Foothill Gold Line is a 11 mile extension connecting Pasadena to Azusa.
The entire city of Azusa is invited to celebrate the dedication of the Azusa Downtown and the Azusa Pacific University/Citrus College stations on Sept. 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The dedication celebrates the construction completion of the Foothill Gold Line. The extension will provide six additional stations to the twenty-one stations currently existing on Metro Gold Line route.
The event will be held at the Azusa Downtown station located on 780 N. Alamenda Ave. in Azusa. Parking is available at the Azusa City Hall, Azusa Library and Azusa Senior Center.
In the visionary stages, between 2004 and 2007, Citrus College representatives attendedcommunity information meetings and proposed that the Gold Line be extended past Irwindale to the Citrus Avenue location.
“Students played an important role in bringing the Gold Line to Citrus College,” said Marilyn Grinsdale, Citrus College protocol and government relations officer.
Citrus College hosted an “I Will Ride” campus event in 2009, where students and elected officials within the Foothill Extension Corridor cities pledged their support for funding and construction of the Gold Line.
A year later in 2010, a Gold Line sign unveiling was staged at Citrus College to announce that the project had finally reached the construction phase.
Construction of the project is on time and within budget, said Foothill Gold Line Construction media relations representative Albert Ho. The project completion will be turned over to Metro officials after the dedication ceremony.
“Within 30 days of turning the project over to Metro, we will find out a very specific [opening] date for the community to begin riding the Gold Line,” Ho said. Passenger service for the Gold Line is expected to begin in March 2016.
The Gold Line has already provided transportation access for higher education institutions in the Los Angeles and Pasadena areas. Rail transportation will now allow the Azusa community to be connected to the larger San Gabriel Valley region.
“I am hopeful the Gold Line will give students not only access to get to campus but access to then travel from the campus to other locations,” said Barbara Dickerson Ed.D. who represents Azusa on the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees.
“Easy access for our students that live west of Azusa, getting to LA, Pasadena and so many other places in So Cal will enrich the lives of our students,” said Ginny Dadainan, Azusa Pacific University’s director of community relations. “We have programs in LA and with the convenience of having this stop, our students won’t have to utilize a car.”
In addition, the Gold Line creates another alternative form of travel that may help relieve congestion in Citrus College’s parking lots.
“As enrollment numbers go up, so do people who need parking spots,” said Cameron Wisdom, president of the Associated Students of Citrus College.
Student support and involvement continues, as the dedication ceremony will provide refreshments and feature several booths including one from a Citrus College staffed with student ambassadors.
“Both station artists Jose Antonio Aguirre and Lynn Goodpasture will have information on their artwork for the two Azusa stations,” said Lisa Levy Buch, Foothill Gold Line Construction director of public affairs.
The artists used a range of materials including architectural glass, mosaic, tile, stone, metal, for the Azusa stations paved surfaces, gateways, benches and lighting elements
Lynn Goodpasture’s design for APU/ Citrus College station site was her longest art project that spanned 10 years.
Throughout the conception and design process of the station, Goodpasture said she was inspired by Azusa’s natural and academic surroundings.
“I just love college towns,”Goodpasture said. “I love the energy and the intelligence you feel when you are around them and I wanted people to feel that it is a welcoming environment that felt like home.”
Azusa High School’s marching band and cheerleaders will be performing, along with musical guests Mariachi Camino Real and Mariachi Juvenil Nueva Generacion.
Political and corporate officials representing entities involved in developing the Gold Line are invited to attend, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who also served as a Metro board member. “He will be our big guest,” Ho said, “He has been a big [proponent] of extending the project.”
Azusa Pacific University’s Cliff Hamlow Ph. D., vice president emeritus, will be speaking on behalf of APU. “[Hamlow] helped get the Gold Line on the forefront of our state, county and federal representatives agendas, while serving as vice president and as a city councilmember for Glendora,” Ginny Dadainan said.
Geraldine M. Perri, Ph.D., Citrus College superintendent/president will be a part of the ceremony as well to share the institution’s dedicated involvement and vital need for the Gold Line.
Citrus College and Azusa Pacific University are the only academic institutions with their names featured on a Gold Line station.
“APU and Citrus College already have a great relationship,” Dadaian said. “Partnership is what got the Gold Line here to Azusa and we will continue working with our neighbors and friends at Citrus College.”
Plans for the next extension project is already in motion for neighboring cities. Starting in 2014, Foothill Gold Line extension from Azusa to Montclair began advanced conceptual engineering. Funding for the proposed $1 billion extension has not been secured.
“We have planned the dedication to thank the city and the community for their patience during the last five years of design and construction,” Buch said. “The dedication recognizes the strong partnership it took to complete the line on-time and on-budget.”