LAUSD Eyes $80M Redevelopment Plan For Blighted Schools
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Four blighted schools in the San Fernando Valley could be getting makeovers if Los Angeles Unified school officials have their way.
KNX 1070′s Margaret Carrero reports members of the Board of Education are considering an $80 million revitalization effort for the now-defunct campuses in Woodland Hills.
Oso Avenue, Collins Street, Platt Ranch and Highlander Road elementary schools have all been closed since the 1980s in the wake of court-ordered busing that resulted in large numbers of students being diverted from public schools in the Valley, according to the Daily News.
LAUSD board members hope to solicit bids from independent charter operators or related entities to redevelop and lease the sites.
But despite the rise in popularity of charter schools, Sierra Jenkins with the California Charter Schools Association said the effort could prove to be an uphill battle.
“There just aren’t that many independent charter schools up in that area, and it also is challenging to make it work, especially if the school buildings are in pretty bad shape and need quite a bit of financing,” Jenkins said.
The campuses, which were built in the 1950s and 60s, are likely contaminated with asbestos and lead paint. They would also have to be restored to comply with current seismic, building, and disabled access codes, the Daily News reported.
An LAUSD memo (PDF) written during the administration of Superintendent David Brewer III in March 2008 referenced the four campuses as the focus of a proposal to determine “the highest and best use for each of the closed school sites,” but the effort never gained traction.
The Board of Education meeting was underway at 1 p.m in downtown Los Angeles.