SHARING OUR HISTORY
What's in a Name?
El Camino is Spanish for "The Road." The road refers to California's first road: "El Camino Real," which means "The King's Road," or "The Royal Road."
Fray Junipero Serra (1713-1784), a Spanish Franciscan priest, explorer and colonizer of California, founded the missions of California along this dirt road. In his 15 years as padre president, he established nine of his 21 missions, each a one-day walk apart (about 30 miles), and all linked by the "El Camino Real." The road stretches from the Mexican border to north of San Francisco.
Why the Bell Logo?
El Camino Real was distinguished by numerous markers of a single bell suspended on an upside down hook-shaped pole. All of them are tributes to California's first road.
From the beginning...
In 1946, after strong recommendations by a consulting team to establish a two-year college in the Inglewood-South Bay area, the governing boards of the Centinela Valley, Redondo, Inglewood and El Segundo districts won 10-1 voter approval for the creation of a junior college.
Torrance soon joined the newly chartered group, and the El Camino Community College District was officially established on July 1, 1947.
Located centrally in the South Bay, the El Camino Community College District encompasses five unified and high school districts, 12 elementary school districts and nine cities - a population of nearly 533,000 residents.
Early classrooms were surplus World War II barracks which were trucked north from the old Santa Ana Army Air Base in Orange County.
The first permanent building for classroom instruction was the shop building, which opened in 1949. The women’s gym, field house, another shop building and the social science building followed. Major construction was the order of business nearly every year during the growth years of the college.
El Camino College’s buildings cover 1,129,112 square feet and were built at a cost of $28 million. That means 27 structures were completed without any bonded indebtedness to the District.
In November 2002, voters of the El Camino Community College District approved a $394 million facilities bond measure. The successful passage of this first-ever bond measure will allow the District to build several new buildings, engage in major remodeling and reconstruction of others, and take steps to improve the health and safety of students and employees.
History was made again in November 2012 when District voters approved Measure E, a $350 million facilities bond measure. Measure E will provide funds for safety, technology, and energy-saving improvements to classrooms, labs and other instructional facilities.
Bond money can be used only on facilities and equipment. None of it can be used for salaries or programs. A Citizens Bond Oversight Committee provides an annual report to the public regarding the use of the funds.