Los Angeles, CA Real Estate News

6 Before-and-After Images Show the Ambitious LAUSD Building Program Transforming LA Neighborhoods

Los Angeles skyline

On a mission to combat its overcrowded schools and high drop-out rate, The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) launched an aggressive $19.2 billion school construction and renovation program in 1997. Being the largest school construction and renovation program in the U.S., the program has been delivering new and modernized school facilities through a bond program worth over $27.5 billion. Given the fantastic proportions of these construction projects, we were curious to see how they impacted the surrounding neighborhoods.

The following before-and-after slides were created to help you see first-hand how the most ambitious school construction program in the history of the United States has changed the LA landscape.

Simply drag the arrow bar back-and-forth to see how the LAUSD construction program has changed LA neighborhoods from 2005-2014.

1. Augustus F. Hawkins High School – Vermont Neighborhood

Replacing single-family residences and a handful of commercial plots including a liquor store and an auto body shop on 15.37 acres in highly urbanized South Los Angeles, The Augustus F. Hawkins High School at 825 W 60th St. opened in 2012. The new 351,070 sqft.-school consists of three small learning communities and serves 2,000+ students. The school was designed to meet the country’s first green building program designed for K-12 schools – the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS).

Augustus F. Hawkins High School

Augustus Hawkins 2005 Augustus Hawkins 2014

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2. Dr. Maya Angelou Community High – South Park

Consisting of 6 buildings and a parking structure with rooftop play court, Dr. Maya Angelou Community High at 300 East 53rd St. opened in 2011. Sitting on approximately 10.5 acres, the 211,000 sqft.-high school complex includes 4 learning communities and serves 2,000+ students.

Dr. Maya Angelou Community High School

Maya Angelou 2005 Maya Angelou 2014

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3. East Valley Senior High – North Hollywood

Constructed to relieve overcrowding at the nearby Francis Polytechnic, Grant and North Hollywood high schools, the four-story East Valley Senior High at 5525 Vineland Ave. opened in 2006 and expanded its athletic facilities in 2010. Housing 65 classrooms serving 1,300 students, the 185,000 sqft.-high school campus sits on 11.8 acres. The construction of the school required the complete excavation of a portion of Cumpston Street.

East Valley High School

East Valley High School.2005 East Valley High School.2014

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4. Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, Miguel Contreras Learning Complex – West Lake, Downtown

In the making for 23 years, The Edward R. Roybal Learning Center took a long and difficult path to completion. The $377 million high school located at 1200 West Colton St. opened in 2008 to relieve the overcrowding at Belmont High school. It offered 104 new classrooms. Construction at the school site began in the 90s but was shut down twice after seismic and environmental conditions were discovered. In 2004, approximately one third of the buildings were demolished and construction was completed with the installation of a methane mitigation system.

Located on the 10-acre site of the old Fort Moore and joining the cultural facilities along the Grand Avenue cultural corridor, the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts is Downtown’s most unorthodox new landmark with stainless steel exterior metal panel cladding and an asymmetrical design. Built in 2009 to help relieve overcrowding of the existing Belmont High, the $232 million school serves 1,700+ students in a modern complex of seven buildings and includes a 927-seat theater building open for public use.

Serving over 2,500 students in 3 learning communities as well as a separate school, the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex was built in an effort to relieve crowded classrooms at Belmont and Marshall high schools. Sitting atop Crown Hill at 322 S Lucas Ave., the $161 million school opened in 2006 featuring 72 classrooms spread among seven building on 19 acres. The large, landscaped central courtyard features competition athletic fields and a public stadium.

Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, Miguel Contreras Learning Complex

Ramon Cortines.Miguel Contreras.Roybal 2005 Ramon Cortines.Miguel Contreras.Roybal 2014

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5. San Pedro Senior High – San Pedro

The new San Pedro High School (SPHS) annex at 3210 S Alma St spreads on 128,000 sqft. and was completed in 2012 as an extension of the existing SPHS campus to house the 800 students of two existing magnets. Built on LAUSD-owned land within Fort MacArthur, the district controversially razed military buildings which were home to the San Pedro Skills adult education center. One of the greenest new LA schools, it is powered by photovoltaic panels and wind turbines.

San Pedro Senior High

san.pedro.high.2005 san.pedro.high.2014

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6. Watts Learning Center Charter Middle – Green Meadows

What started 10 years ago as an inner city charter school experiment adjacent to the largest public housing development in the nation (Nickerson Gardens) and housed in old church buildings and temporary trailers, the Watts Learning Center Charter Middle School has finally found its permanent home. The new 16-acre campus of the Mervyn M. Dymally High School at 8800 South San Pedro St., opened for students in 2012, and will share its 16-acre campus with the 330 middle school age students.

Watts Learning Center Middle School

Watts Middle Learning Center 2005 Watts Middle Learning Center 2014

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How has LAUSD changed the streetscape of your LA neighborhood?

About the author

Ama Otet

Ama Otet is an online content developer and creative writer for RENTCafé. She loves all things real estate and strives to live beautifully, one green step at a time. You can connect with Ama on Twitter or via email.

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