Emerson College Readying $110M L.A. Campus to Strengthen Hollywood Ties

Located on West Sunset Boulevard, the new building will include housing, classrooms and an auditorium

Boston-based Emerson College will host a groundbreaking ceremony next Thursday for the $110 million Hollywood campus that it hopes will help strengthen its ties to the entertainment and media business. 

Designed by architect Thom Mayne and located on West Sunset Boulevard, the new building will house classrooms, student and faculty housing and an auditorium. 

"Los Angeles is a leading city in arts and culture and entertainment and drama and film, and we’re moving there to take full advantage of what it has to offer to our students, many of whom will go on to become the future leaders in Los Angeles in those various fields," Emerson College President Lee Pelton told TheWrap. 

Construction on the 10-story, 37,350-square-foot building began earlier this year and is expected to be completed by 2013.  

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Mayne is a Pritzker Prize-winning architect who has designed the San Francisco Federal Building and the Morse Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon. 

The school has maintained a presence in Los Angeles since 1986, but has been forced to rent space in Burbank. 

Emerson expected to enroll 100 college juniors and seniors beginning in spring 2014, and anticipates that the number will swell to 220 by the end of that year. 

Pelton said that the program will allow students to intern at film studios, media outlets and marketing agencies throughout the city, giving them work experience to draw on when they look for jobs. 

Citing Emerson graduates such as "Friends" producer Kevin Bright, Jay Leno, and sitcom creator Norman Lear, Pelton said that the Los Angeles campus will provide students with better access to the college's alumni network. 

One of those notable alums, Doug Herzog, president of Viacom Entertainment Group, hailed the move as an important next step in Emerson's evolution. 

"This will make the college very, very visible, to the entertainment community," Herzog said. "Boston is a great place, but it is 3,000 miles away from Los Angeles, and there's a great benefit to having students come out here to get some real life experience within the entertainment community."

Photo credit: Thom Mayne, Morphosis Architects.