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Board Approves Major Infrastructure Upgrades and Welcoming Outdoor Learning Spaces Sustainable Improvements (06-13-23)


June 13, 2023

Board Approves Major Infrastructure Upgrades and Welcoming Outdoor Learning Spaces Sustainable Improvements

Investing in our students with more than $229 million bond dollars at work


Los Angeles, CA (June 13, 2023) – The Board of Education today approved more than $229 million worth of bond-funded projects to upgrade and maintain modernized facilities and provide safe and sustainable green spaces for outdoor learning as Los Angeles Unified further advances the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan.


“Los Angeles Unified is dedicated toward school improvements that will maximize student learning,” Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “These additional infrastructure investments ensure the District meets and exceeds the goals set forth in our 2022-26 Strategic Plan.”


Fairfax High School was approved for a major modernization project that will invest $148.7 million in campus upgrades. The multi-phase project will provide a new classroom building with five specialty classrooms and support spaces, including sports medicine, ceramics, dance, music and drama; a new gymnasium; exterior paint; Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility; landscaping and site infrastructure upgrades; and, parking improvements.


In addition, the Board approved the $16.9 million Campus Improvement Project to support the unification of the James J. McBride Special Education Center with the Career and Transition Center West. Facilities improvements include a new lunch shelter, renovation of classrooms and restrooms and site infrastructure upgrades. The adjacent school site, Grand View Elementary School, will also receive facilities improvements, including a new 2-classroom building, to facilitate the consolidation of the James J. McBride Special Education Center-Career and Transition Center West site.  


The Board also approved $51.3 million in accessibility upgrades at 186th Street Elementary School, Bassett Street Elementary School, Charnock Road Elementary School, Harrison Elementary School, Walter Reed Middle School, Wilbur Charter for Enriched Academics and Soto Street Elementary School. Projects will provide students with equal opportunity access to programs and activities on these campuses by incorporating ADA improvements necessary to meet accessibility requirements and ensure a barrier-free learning environment. The approved projects support the implementation of the Los Angeles Unified ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan.


Four outdoor learning environment projects, with a combined value of $9.3 million, were approved at 2nd Street Elementary School, Christopher Dena Elementary School, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School and Weigand Avenue Elementary School. Projects are identified using the Los Angeles Unified Greening Index, which ranks campuses with the greatest need for enhanced greening, and school data to determine campuses with excess portable classrooms. Each project will provide an approximately 2,000 square foot outdoor learning space with landscaping, shaded seating areas, shade structure, internet connectivity and ADA accessibility improvements.


A $3.2 million project approved at Alfred B. Nobel Charter Middle will provide wrought iron fencing around the school campus and an ADA accessible secure entrance.


“Right now, some students get to learn on lush, green campuses,” Board President Jackie Goldberg said. “But most don’t, and all students deserve to. With these funds, we’ll be able to expand access to green space, and to provide basic infrastructure and modernization that will allow everyone to focus on learning.”

“I am happy to support these measures and invest more in our schools,” Board Vice President Schmerelson said. “It is important that our students not only have safe places to learn but a modern environment that is accessible to all students. I am also committed to the expansion of green spaces in communities that need it. This is why I also support Superintendent Carvalho’s initiative to negotiate to open LAUSD facilities for county programs. This would ensure that our students have the support of Los Angeles County to use these spaces during weekends and the summer when they otherwise might be closed.”


“I’m excited to see the investments in improving green space and outdoor learning environments on our campuses that have been starved for so long,” Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said. “These re-designs will enhance the learning experience for our students and have long term benefits for the school sites.”


“The District has made a commitment to our students and our families that we will create 'safe and healthy environments to promote joy and wellness', which is essential for learning,” Board Member Dr. Rocío Rivas said. “Prioritizing sustainable green spaces at all of our schools means we are prioritizing mental health; Prioritizing mental health is absolutely essential to learning and growth. These are not optional improvements. And we must not stop here. Through the Green Schools and Climate Resilience Committee, we will continue to find ways to work more efficiently to create equitable access to green space across the District.”


“I’m proud to direct new funding to invest in the District’s ongoing efforts to provide more modernized campus facilities and outdoor learning spaces—and I’m especially excited to approve the $150 million major modernization project coming to Fairfax High and the $17 million project to unite the CTC West and McBride campuses and upgrade Grand View Elementary,” Board Member Nick Melvoin said.


“All of our children deserve to learn in top-of-the-line facilities that support their academic success and socioemotional well-being,” Board Member Kelly Gonez said. “Los Angeles Unified continues to invest deeply in facilities upgrades, including much-needed campus greening and outdoor learning classrooms, to ensure our schools can meet the holistic needs of our students, families and communities.”


“I am proud to approve $229 million worth of sustainable, safe and green bond-fund projects,” Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin said. “Our students deserve the best learning environments to continue to expand their education outdoors.”