Wednesday, June 22, 2011


The LAUSD Board authorizes staff on Tuesday to release an 'Intent to Lease' for two acres of space at Walgrove Ave. Elementary where a new charter school would be built.

By Samantha Page | Venice Patch|

22 June - With little deliberation, the Los Angeles Unified School District board on Tuesday authorized its staff to issue a notice of intent, calling for proposals from charter schools to build a new school on two acres of the Walgrove Avenue Elementary School campus.

"All we're doing is approving the intent to lease the land," said LAUSD board member Steve Zimmer, who represents the district.

Zimmer was reiterating statements he made at a contentious meeting at Walgrove last week. This is the first step toward putting a charter school on Walgrove's campus. LAUSD staff said they intend to issue the notice sometime this summer. If and when a proposal is selected, the board will have another opportunity to vote, which will come with another round of public comment.

"We do not need another school," one Walgrove neighbor told the board on Tuesday. She suggested that a better use of the space would be to "create a safe zone for loading and unloading passengers."

Congestion along Walgrove Avenue was the primary complaint of most of the few speakers who could attend the 1 p.m. meeting downtown. Four other neighbors registered complaints of people blocking them in their driveways, speeding away after dropping off passengers, and even parking in private driveways.

Some said the space rightfully belonged to Walgrove and should not be given away.

Sandi Wise, who lives nearby, noted when the Lincoln Place apartments are fully occupied, the area will be supporting more traffic, and the magnet school starting at Mark Twain Middle School nearby is expected to add 300 students to the area.

Currently, Ocean Charter School has 14 classrooms and about 150 students at Walgrove, through the program instated by Proposition 39.

"In this particular area, there has been incredible pressure on classroom space due to Prop. 39," Zimmer said. "There are not enough spaces to accommodate requests.

Twelve of OSC's classrooms are in out-buildings, which have to be removed at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. In addition, the Green Dot charter school organization is looking for space in Venice. The LAUSD briefly considered colocating Green Dot's new middle school at Westminster Avenue Elementary.

Sarah Reimers, co-president of the Friends of Walgrove booster club, said it was a "very innovative solution" to the space problem in the area.

"A great deal of stress and energy" has been spent on the colocation of OCS at Walgrove, Reimers said. "Parents at Walgrove are not concerned with losing two acres."

Do you think a new school should be built at Walgrove? Tell us in the comments.


2cents smf: There are questions that need to be answered before charter schools build on District-owned land.

  • Who will pay for construction? …and from what money?
  • Who will hold title to the building? – buildings last a lifetime, charters last five years.
  • Will it be built to DSA/Field Act standards?
  • Prop 39 is not an entitlement to space because a charter wants it – it only makes space available if it exists and is available

Keep an eye on the Environmental Impact Reports.

Follow the money. Connect the dots. ●. Sunshine the process.

click here for Venice Tsunami Map . Not only is Walgrove within the Tsunami zone, but  it is also within a Seismic Hazard (Liquefaction) Zone. This is no place to scrimp on the school building codes and standards.

No comments: