When school started last week, students and staff at seven LBUSD schools started the semester in newly modernized buildings that include central air conditioning.
At Renaissance High School for the Arts, a $40 million makeover included a new performing arts building with a state-of-the art black box theater. Physical education and classroom facilities have been completely modernized and are now accessible to people with disabilities.
A new covered quad area in the center of campus provides a gathering place for the school’s 500 performing and visual arts students who reside throughout the school district.
Six other campuses that also saw makeovers during the past year are Kettering, Riley, Rogers, Cleveland, Stephens and Garfield. Some of the students were temporarily relocated during construction.
“We are delighted to be back home,” said LaShell Diggs, principal at Riley Elementary School in Lakewood. “I’m impressed with the smoothness of the transition, and everyone is going to be really happy to have air conditioning when the weather turns hot.”
These six schools were among the first of 51 campuses to benefit from Measure E, the $1.5 billion school bond initiative approved by voters in 2016. More than half of the bond funds have been designated to update antiquated heating and air conditioning or install new systems in schools built without the electrical capacity for central air conditioning.
During the next several years, 45 more campuses will undergo modernization, which includes new air conditioning and heating systems along with electrical, plumbing, lighting, window and security updates where needed.
Several campuses saw their upgrades begin this summer, including Mann, Longfellow, Webster, Lowell, McKinley, Burcham, Barton and MacArthur elementary schools; and Jefferson, Lindsey and Keller middle schools. Major modernization improvements have also begun at Lakewood High School, where new heating/air conditioning systems will be installed along with new lighting, ceilings, paint, accessibility upgrades and infrastructure improvements. Sato Academy’s new science building also broke ground this summer.
Meanwhile, new all-weather tracks and fields have been completed at Poly High School and at Stephens and Rogers middle schools.
Millikan High School’s new 1000 building begins construction in October.
The $150 million multi-year rebuilding of Jordan High School is well underway, with Buildings 1400 and 1500, the band building and auditorium scheduled to be completed next year.
Future phases at Jordan include the renovation of the career center, library, gymnasium, science building and administration building, and the addition of two classroom buildings, an outdoor swimming pool and a new stadium and athletic fields.