The city of Chula Vista will soon break ground on a Cinematic Arts Academic Center and Library in a joint venture with San Diego State University and Southwestern College in hopes of educating a new generation of aspiring film students in the Cali-Baja region.
For nearly 30 years, Chula Vista has sought a university presence within city limits. Elected officials announced Wednesday that the $89 million, 168,000-square-foot Cinematic Arts Academic Center & Library, will house SDSU’s brand new Television, Film, and New Media Studios (TFNMS).
The new facility will be the city’s first new library since 1995, located about two miles away from the 375-acre, city-owned parcel dedicated to university and research and development companies. Officials said the multi-use library will be the first of its kind in San Diego County.
“We are delighted to be part of this collaboration and to use SDSU’s renowned film and television program as the foundation of our formal presence in this vibrant South Bay neighborhood,” said SDSU president Adela de la Torre. “This builds on our 30-year commitment to the South Bay community and our longstanding partnership with the Sweetwater Union High School District. I am truly excited by what this will mean for our students, for our future, and for the economic impact this new film industry will drive in Chula Vista."
The project is funded by $30 million in state funding and $59 million from the City of Chula Vista. Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins secured $5 million in state funding for the acquisition and entitlement of the project site. Assemblymember David Alvarez secured an additional $25 million in state funding.
The Cinematic Arts Academic Center & Library will be located at 1775 Millenia Avenue. It is poised to include a 50,000-square-foot film and television teaching facility, containing sound stages, modern editing and mixing suites, brand new classrooms, meeting rooms, and administrative and faculty space. All will be equipped with the latest film and television technology.
“This project gives students a clear pathway to San Diego State University’s program in the community they live in. It will be transformative and a catalyst to turn what is currently a university desert into a thriving ecosystem of higher education to address inequities and generational poverty in our community,” said Superintendent/President Dr. Mark Sanchez.
Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas, whose alma mater is SDSU, said the partnership will open doors for the South Bay.
“I'm so happy they're joining us as the first university planting their stake in the ground for this project and for providing quality education for our students in the South Bay and miles beyond,” Salas said. "This is a big one for our community and entire South Bay. Increasing access to learning in higher education is also linked to better employment and economic and health outcomes. Our local economy will expand as we create a talent pipeline for this film to foster real-life real-world skills and students that will strengthen the local workforce. So to the film industry, we welcome you to our beautiful city."
Construction is set to begin next year and should be completed by 2025.