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More Construction, Modernization Completed

The first major renovation of Lakewood High School has been completed in time for the new school year, and a new gymnasium at Colin Powell Academy opened its doors this summer. Major renovation continues at Poly High School, while construction has begun on a new school at the former Dooley’s Hardware at Long Beach Boulevard and Del Amo Street. The improvements and new facilities are paid for by Measure A school bonds approved in 1999 by local voters along with state matching funds. The projects are funded separately from the school district’s operating budget. The $16 million Lakewood renovation includes new floor tiles, lighting, plumbing, painting, electrical upgrades and other improvements throughout the school. Lakewood High School had not been renovated since it opened nearly a half century ago. A similar major renovation is now underway and scheduled for completion at Poly High School by fall of 2006. The new $3.8 million gym just opened at Powell Academy offers 16,600 square feet and contains a coaches’ office, locker rooms and a music room, which was constructed to replace a portable building where the music program was previously held. Powell opened with no gym in fall 1999. The North Long Beach school’s innovative two-story modular construction allowed workers to build the school in only eight months. The school was one of only 12 nationwide to receive the Schools as Centers of Community Recognized Value Award for adherence to stringent principles adopted by the U.S. Department of Education, the American Institute of Architects and the Council for Educational Facilities Planners International. At the Dooley’s site, known by the landmark hardware store that occupied the parcel for many years, a 1,200-student elementary school has begun construction and is scheduled for completion in November 2006. Students from nearby Sutter Elementary School will attend the new K-5 school at the Dooley’s location, allowing Sutter to be converted to a middle school accommodating grades 6-8.