Rio Hondo Educational Center at Pico Rivera Provides Community with Convenient Access to College Courses
PICO RIVERA – Local, state and national leaders praised Rio Hondo College’s new educational center in Pico Rivera during an Aug. 11 ribbon-cutting ceremony as an invaluable community resource that will open the doors of opportunity for all residents.

The $2.5 million center, which offers access to 27 day and evening courses starting this month, occupies a cluster of recently renovated buildings formerly used by the El Rancho Unified School District adult school. The College partnered with the District and City of Pico Rivera to create the center, Rio Hondo’s third regional campus.

“We look forward to the residents of Pico Rivera – of all ages and from all backgrounds – to richly benefit from the College’s educational center,” Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss said.

The project was praised by a half dozen representatives of Pico Rivera, El Rancho Unified, and state, county and national legislators. Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, a former Rio Hondo College trustee, said the center realizes a dream more than 20 years in the making.

“My hat goes off to all three partners – Rio Hondo College, El Rancho Unified School District and the City of Pico Rivera – as well as to the community for making this dream a reality,” Solis said.

Pico Rivera Mayor David Armenta, a Rio Hondo alumnus, said the center will not only help students access classes, but their parents as well, including single mothers.

El Rancho Superintendent Martin Galindo called the center a dream come true and El Rancho Board of Education President Aurora Villon lauded the partnership that brought the center into being.

U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez celebrated the center’s dual focus on academic courses and career technical education. She said her father taught her to weld just in case her pursuit of a college degree didn’t work out.

Rio Hondo College Student Trustee Brandon Pablo Leon said the center creates opportunities for new and returning students.

“This educational center is just one less obstacle on the pathway to success,” he said. “For so many returning students, it is investments like this that make it possible for them to complete their educational goals.”

Rio Hondo College Trustee Vicky Santana, whose district includes Pico Rivera, said the next challenge is to bring in grants and internships through the center to expand those opportunities for community members.

Preparation for the opening included a remodeling of the 27,750-square-foot educational center to add state-of-the-art technology to six classrooms, create a computer lab and student study room. The center also offers assessment and counseling offices and an administration building, allowing students to meet with counselors and sign up for classes on site.

“This is a testament to Rio Hondo College being a true community partner with the residents of Pico Rivera,” Rio Hondo College Board of Trustees President Mary Ann Pacheco said. “We want all of our residents to see Rio Hondo as their first college choice. What better way to get started with a college education than in your own back yard?”


081116_RHC PICO1: Rio Hondo College leaders, along with local school, city and county, state and national legislators, cut the ribbon on the College’s new educational center in Pico Rivera on Aug. 11. The $2.5 million center, a year in the making, opens to classes this month.

081116_RHC_PICO2: Rio Hondo College leaders stand together with local school, city and county, state and national legislators to celebrate the opening of the new Rio Hondo Educational Center at Pico Rivera on Aug. 11. The $2.5 million center opens to classes this month.