Students, faculty at Canada College worried new gym will become a private club

Canada College students and faculty fear that the proposed Kinesiology and Wellness building, shown here, will become a private athletic club.
Canada College students and faculty fear that the proposed Kinesiology and Wellness building, shown here, will become a private athletic club.

Daily Post Staff Writer

The San Mateo County Community College District Board on Wednesday (Nov. 20) will hear from students and teachers at Canada College who are worried that a new gym at the Redwood City college is going to be taken over by a private company.

A portion of the 105,916-square-foot gym will be used exclusively by a private athletic club, similar to an arrangement that got the college district in trouble in 2011 at College of San Mateo.

According to plans for the Canada project, 25,685-square feet are reserved for academic space, 11,379-square feet is reserved just for the private gym and 68,732-square feet will be shared by students and the athletic club members.

It’s estimated that there will be some 9,000 club members compared to the 2,000 or so students in the Kinesiology, Athletic and Dance Department at Canada College.

In 2011, the San Mateo County civil grand jury said the college district didn’t inform the public of its plans to build essentially a private athletic club when it went to voters for the approval of a $468 million bond measure.

Similarly, the Canada College gym is also being built by bond measure money that will also benefit a private health club.

A letter from a group of faculty at Canada College, which was read to the board at its Sept. 25 meeting, implies that because of the private club being added to the gym, the Kinesiology, Athletic and Dance Department has been pushed out.

The letter states that because of the lack of space given to the athletic department, there is a possibility that the college could have problems with Title IX compliance down the road. Title IX is the federal law protecting gender equality at federally funded schools.

Concerns from teachers date back to at least 2016 over the lack of bleachers, not enough space for certain activities, lack of room for sports to grow and the locker rooms being too small.

Teachers from the Kinesiology, Athletic and Dance Department met with construction consultants for the college district in winter 2016 and again this fall, to provide input, ask questions and try to work out problems related to the building.

One of the problems that repeatedly shows up in meeting minutes between faculty and consultants with the district is the size of the locker rooms.

According to plans for the project, the locker rooms for the private club are 1,843 and 2,732 square feet, while the student locker rooms are each 195 square feet.

In meeting minutes from an Oct. 28 meeting between faculty and consultants, it is mentioned that the locker rooms at one point were 2,000-square feet.

It is also repeated in meeting minutes from this year that the Athletics Department at the college needs one more team meeting room in order to provide enough space for all of the college’s sports teams.

After the board heard the letter from the faculty on Sept. 25, it requested the item be brought back so it could be discussed.

The board will hear about the concerns by Canada’s faculty at its 6 p.m. Wednesday meeting at 3401 CSM Drive in San Mateo.


  1. Long time SMCCCD Board member Karen Schwartz seems to be heavily invested in supporting Ex chancellor Galatolo. At several recent meetings of the Trustees Board she negatively comments on the Cañada College employees as being disgruntled. They welcome a new building but their voices were neglected in the discussion phase. The facts are that the were not included in decision making of the very spaces where they are to be teaching, in fact hundreds and hundreds of pages of notes and minutes from years of design meetings clearly show that. Faculty and staff were left out of the majority. When they were “invited” and did question, there were heard but not listened to. This building is for profit and NOT for students first, which ironically is the Board mission, was the idea of an overpaid chancellor who she assisted by supporting. Why? Take a look at yourself Un Trustee Schwartz as many county taxpayers may be looking at you with disappointment, wondering why you are so one sided and critical of the employees and students you are supposed to represent. Maybe it’s time for you to step aside for some new eyes to see the reality of what is happening in that District.

  2. If you do not believe this is true, check this out. I paid $106 for a two semester parking permit plus $27 for the summer at San Mateo College, SMAC (San Mateo Athletic Club)members pay $90 for 12 months and after the 12 month your parking will remain “complementary” for the life of your membership. Visit their website, this is upsetting. This is a scam for the taxpayers, this should have been a non-profit institution not a private club. :^( Shame on you people.

  3. Scam is right, it is disgusting that the Trustees Board has allowed this to happen with our tax dollars. This is NOT what voters voted for. All of the Board Members should be ousted just like that former Chancellor but it may cost us taxpayers more of our hard earned dollars. They should be embarrassed that this scam continues into another city.

Comments are closed.