September 06, 2007
A gleaming, newly built Dooley Elementary School opened Sept. 5 in North Long Beach, accommodating more than 1,000 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The school already has won a design award from the American Institute of Architects in Orange County.
Named after the Dooley family and their landmark hardware store that once occupied the property, the project is the first new school to open in Long Beach since Cesar Chavez Elementary School's fall 2004 opening in downtown.
Most of the new school’s students had attended nearby Sutter K-8 School, which this fall was transformed into a middle school serving grades six through eight. Sutter was renamed Lindsey Academy after respected educator Perry Lindsey, who was the first African American school principal in Long Beach. Perry Lindsey also served as one of World War II’s famed and highly decorated Tuskegee Airmen.
Dooley Elementary, located on five acres at 5075 Long Beach Blvd., provides 118,000 square feet of building space, including 55 classrooms. The school features two-story construction with exterior balconies, a large courtyard, separate kindergarten area, multi-purpose room, media center, serving kitchen, energy-saving design, and a parking structure with an upper-level playground.
The school provides computer outlets throughout, two computer labs, an exterior amphitheatre-type assembly area, large-capacity student drop-off area, a grass playfield, and classrooms incorporating built-in teacher desks and operable walls allowing flexible teaching arrangements.
Charles Dooley, who died in 1990 at the age of 80, developed his father’s small hardware store into the three-block-long, landmark Dooley’s Hardware Mart. He and his family were actively involved in civic affairs. He served on the Long Beach City Council from 1957 to 1960 and was three-time president of the area’s Commercial Club.
A dedication ceremony for the new school is being planned for later this fall.