In Partnership with 74

Major school and kitchen upgrades could be approved Tuesday

Mike Szymanski | March 7, 2016

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Maybe 4 fewer eyesores?

The LA Unified school board will consider major upgrades at school sites throughout the district at their regular meeting Tuesday.

The Facilities Services Division is asking the board to approve district bonds for projects including replacing a half-century-old canopy over a stairwell, replacing 60-year-old bleachers, upgrading walk-in freezers at 305 schools and replacing ovens, ice machines and refrigerators at 218 schools.

The Facilities Services Division is asking to approve $20.5 million to modernize walk-in freezers throughout the district. The plan would start the second quarter of this year and be completed by the fourth quarter of 2019, according to Facilities Chief Mark Hovatter.

The repairs will “focus on providing new panels, ceilings, floors, doors and new energy-efficient refrigeration and lighting systems” and will “improve student health, safety and educational quality,” Hovatter said. (See which schools are listed to get the walk-in freezer upgrades and their timeline in the Board Materials, search for “Tab 10.“)

The division is also asking for $1.85 million for a modernization program for kitchen equipment at schools districtwide. Those 218 schools will have the improvements made by the fourth quarter of 2016, if approved. (See the list of schools, what will be fixed and the timeline under Board Materials in Tab 11.)

Critical school repairs have to be done at 15 schools, so the division is asking for $18.6 million to schedule those. The money is available through the district’s bond program, which has $7.8 billion available.

The critical repairs include replacing roofs in four buildings that are more than 25 years old at Aragon Avenue Elementary School and a lunch shelter, and upgrades on 13 roofs more than 20 years old at Belvedere Middle School. Roofing repairs are also needed at Bethune Middle School, 10th Street Elementary, Chandler Learning Academy, Cohasset Street Elementary, Frost Middle, Hawaiian Avenue Elementary, Van Nuys Middle and Farmdale Elementary schools.

At Gulf Avenue Elementary School, a 50-year-old concrete canopy over a stairwell needs to be replaced, as well as deteriorated grandstand bleachers on the Hamilton High football field that are more than 60 years old.

Also on the list: fixing fire damage at Los Angeles Academy Middle School and air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems at Rogers Continuation High School and Stoney Point Continuation High School.

Four of the critical projects are in Richard Vladovic‘s and Scott Schmerelson’s districts (representing the furthest north and the furthest south in the nation’s second largest district). Three are in Monica Garcia’s district, two are in Monica Ratliff’s and one in George McKenna’s. None are in board president Steve Zimmer’s district. The cost and time schedule for each project is in the Board Materials (search Tab 9).

“We don’t really look at which districts, but more about where the greatest critical need is,” Hovatter said.

In other board actions scheduled for Tuesday at 1 p.m., the board will consider the Second Interim Financial Report which will outline current projections that the district may not be able to meet its financial obligations for the current fiscal year and for the two subsequent years. That report is to be given by Chief Financial Officer Megan Reilly.

The board will also hear staff recommendations for the denial of the charter petition for WISH Academy High School and the renewal of the charter for the Gifted Academy of Mathematics and Entrepreneurial Studies, which were delayed from the last meeting, as well as approval for material revision of KIPP Comienza Community Preparatory to expand to middle school and renewal of the CHIME Institute’s Schwarzenegger Community School.

The district will discuss restoring two stand-alone schools, Fourth Street School and Fourth Street Primary Center, and hold public hearings for new charter school petitions: KIPP Fuerza Academy, USC College Prep Blue Campus and USC College Prep Orange Campus.

School board meetings are open to the public. The earlier closed session starts at 10 a.m. and allows public hearing discussion beforehand, and the regular session begins at 1 p.m. at the school headquarters at 333 S. Beaudry Ave.




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