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Board Approves Early Education Center Improvements and Critical School Upgrades (05-10-22)

CONTACT: Shannon Haber 

May 10, 2022

School Board Approves Early Education Center Improvements and Critical School Upgrades 

Investments Total More Than $40 Million in Bond Dollars At Work

Los Angeles, CA (May 10, 2022) – The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education approved facilities investments in early childhood education, valued at more than $21.5 million, to provide nature-based outdoor learning spaces and campus-wide upgrades at five Early Education Centers (EECs).

The Board of Education also approved 18 critical replacement and upgrade school projects valued at over $6 million to address unmet facilities needs and significantly improve the conditions of aging and deteriorating school facilities. Additionally, the Board approved $13.5 million in construction contracts for previously Board-approved projects to provide seismic retrofits, and accessibility improvements required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

 “Our school bond dollars are hard at work,” Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “With these upgrades, our schools will be safer and more accessible. For our youngest learners, we are upholding our promise to green our schools by upgrading Early Education Centers with green spaces and gardens for learning outdoors.”

The EEC outdoor classroom and campus upgrade projects will proceed at 36th Street EEC, Hyde Park EEC, Cleveland EEC, Vine Street EEC and Hobart Boulevard EEC. The projects will convert existing asphalt and playground areas into dynamic outdoor learning environments that support whole-child development and learning. These outdoor classrooms will also help the youngest students gain a better understanding of nature. In addition, the projects will provide campus upgrades, including new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and roofing systems, fire alarm and ADA accessibility upgrades. New playground matting will also be installed.

The critical replacement and upgrades projects include new roofing at Westside Global Awareness Magnet; new synthetic turf on the football fields at Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School and George Washington Preparatory Senior High School; and new secure entry systems at 15 elementary schools. The construction contracts that were awarded are for seismic retrofitting of the auditorium at Benjamin Franklin High School and ADA accessibility projects at Graham Elementary School, Ramona Elementary School and Sun Valley STEAM Magnet High School.

“We are making significant investments in our school facilities to better serve our students,” Board President Kelly Gonez said. “It’s so important that our students learn in high-quality classrooms that meet their holistic developmental needs and enriching, engaging spaces that inspire them to learn and grow.”

“Our ongoing efforts to provide our kids and families with the best possible learning environments continue with safe, upgraded facilities and innovative educational spaces for our students to learn, grow, and thrive,” Board Vice President Nick Melvoin said. “I’m thrilled to approve today’s investments—including Westside Global Awareness Magnet and Vine Street Early Education Center in Board District 4—to provide critical repairs and new outdoor classrooms for our youngest students to learn and play outside.”

“Our youngest children are gaining new opportunities to learn outside, thanks to voters who support Los Angeles Unified and our bond measures,” Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said. “Thank you for the new outdoor campuses in Board District 1 at the 36th Street Early Education Center and the Hyde Park Early Education Center. Thank you for the much-needed improvements throughout our District. Board District 1 is home to a large number of campuses that are 100+ years old. It is vital that we make investments in critical repairs to our campuses in order to ensure that the facilities are able to serve students for the next 100 years and beyond.”

“It is always my pleasure to approve the building and repairs of Early Childhood Education Centers for our youngest learners,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said. “These five outdoor classrooms and campus upgrade projects will ensure that more of our K-12 students begin their educational journey well prepared for social, emotional and academic success. And while our needs always overshadow our resources, it is also very comforting to know that our Facilities Services Division is constantly overseeing and prioritizing our schools’ most urgent critical replacement and upgrade projects in order to provide the safe and comfortable learning environments that our children need and deserve and that our local taxpayers generously support.”

“Research tells us what we’ve long intuited: Outdoor classrooms provide wonderful learning opportunities,” Board Member Jackie Goldberg said. “On behalf of the children at Hyde Park EEC in Board District 5 and all the students who will benefit from these many investments, I want to thank voters who support our board measures.”

“Early education is an important part of every child’s learning experience and it is important to have outdoor classrooms that will allow our young learners to expand their learning,” Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how our growing outdoor classrooms help stimulate our youngest learners’ social emotional health, physical well-being, appreciation for nature, creativity and curiosity.”