School Construction Going Full Speed Ahead

The growl of bulldozers and staccato of jackhammers chiseling out chunks of concrete have given way to the howl of power saws and the pop of nail guns. To keep pace with mushrooming enrollment, new classrooms are rising this summer at sites throughout the Long Beach Unified School District. • Jordan High School Freshman Academy, 171 Bort Avenue--This eight-acre site, formerly a small community hospital, was cleared late last year and began construction in January of 55,000 square feet of classrooms. Built in the same manner as the award-winning Colin Powell Academy, the two-story modular school will house 1,050 ninth graders. The Jordan annex includes modular classrooms, office, cafeteria and a new playing field. The Academy will offer students a complete array of required and elective courses. • Renaissance Career Academy, 235 E. Eighth St.--This major remodel and renovation of Reid Continuation High School has gutted buildings that formerly housed Boyd Center, attendance service offices and International Student Registration. They are being converted into new classrooms, three computer labs, two science labs, Regional Occupational Program classrooms and a new infant and child study center. The former infant care center will be converted to a kitchen to serve meals to the 700 students attending the new career preparatory high school. • Cabrillo High School, 2001 Santa Fe Ave.--Work continues to complete the largest and final phase of construction of the district’s newest comprehensive high school. Multi-story classroom buildings along Santa Fe are scheduled to open September 5. All outdoor courts and fields are now finished. The gymnasium is scheduled to open later in the fall while the new administration building, multipurpose room, music and art classrooms and science building should open in September 2002. • Edison and Lee elementary schools--In order to free up some playground space, several old one-story portable classroom bungalows are being replaced by modular two-story classrooms similar to those installed at Colin Powell Academy. They require a smaller footprint of land and will increase the enrollment capacity of each school by 200 students. Other sites await plans for development. • The elementary school site under early stages of acquisition at the intersection of Broadway and Golden Avenue is tentatively slated for a September 2003 opening. • The former GTE facility at 20th Street and Cherry Avenue in Signal Hill will no longer house Long Beach Preparatory Academy. Its enrollment had been shrinking each year. This fall, Prep Academy classes will be located on each high school campus, with mid-year transition to high school possible for the first time. No grade designation has yet been assigned to the future school that will be built on this site. •The property at Hill and Redondo is most likely to become a K-8 school. It could be ready for students in September 2003. In addition to the major new school and classroom construction, all schools in the Long Beach Unified School District are scheduled to complete their wiring for the Internet by the time school opens. Special federal e-rate funds are being used to pay for the Internet connections. Modernization planning and work is progressing at several schools. Work at Sutter, including replacing windows, plumbing and electric lines, was recently completed, and Lafayette’s project is still underway. Franklin and Washington will begin during the next few weeks, and Stanford’s will start in August. Modernization plans at Prisk, Emerson, Rogers and Lindbergh are all in various stages of bidding. This summer, Avalon began major modernization to be completed next year. Air conditioning installations at Addams, Hamilton and Edison should be completed before the first week of October. The district is installing 60 relocatable classrooms at 23 sites this summer. Eight of those are coming from Lee and 25 are coming from the disassembly of the Preparatory Academy. Crews also recently broke ground to install two doublewide relocatables for the English as a Second Language program at School for Adults.