Why Can’t Santa Ana Officials Fix Air Conditioning for its Grand Central Art Center Students?

As we all bake in this weekend’s heat wave, take a moment to envy the residents of downtown SanTana’s Grand Central Art Center. Keeping them cool is a massive air conditioner currently parked on Sycamore Street, tubes piping cold AF air into the living units of Cal State Fullerton grad students and visiting artists. 

But, as most things SanTana, there is a story of governmental ineptitude behind it. Seems that the air conditioning for the historic 1920s-era brick building went out early last month, baking said students. It’s something that happens every summer, according to longtime residents and visitors of GCAC, but this year was particularly onerous—so bad, according to sources, that Cal State Fullerton rented out units to students other than artists because many enrollees in the arts program refused to weather such conditions any more.

The problem, ultimately, isn’t Cal State Fullerton administrators but the city of SanTana. The university leases the building for a buck a year, but it’s up to the city to maintain it. They told residents that they wouldn’t be able to fix the AC at Grand Central until August—at the earliest. Why? Because SanTana government. 

“So now along with chasing working class folks riding bikes and homeless in the Artists Village, the city regulates AC, too,” said one artists who requested anonymity because of fear Cal State Fullerton would make them stand in the corner.

The bureaucratic red-tape excuse didn’t sit well with GCAC director John Spiak, who fought for and won the temporary fix. Meanwhile, the city is still scheduled to give $2.5 million to Mater Dei for a parking structure—because, you know, priorities. A Place

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