The Board of Education and other dignitaries joined students and staff to inaugurate the new Richard D. Browning High School recently during ceremonies on the $71 million Long Beach campus.
Among those who joined the festivities were Kent Browning and his sister, Karen, the two younger children of the late Richard D. Browning, who was a local businessman, civic leader and strong supporter of LBUSD schools.
Also present were Daryl Supernaw, Long Beach City Council; Ed Wilson, Signal Hill mayor; and Robert Copeland, Signal Hill City Council.
Representatives of State Senators Janet Nguyen and Patrick O’Donnell, and State Assembly member Ricardo Lara presented proclamations commemorating the opening of the small high school, the first in LBUSD to offer an academic path to hospitality, culinary arts and tourism careers, which are among the fastest growing occupations.
Browning is the third small high school to be opened in LBUSD in four years with funds from Measure K, the $1.2 billion school improvement and building initiative approved by voters in 2008.
Megan Kerr, LBUSD Board of Education president, noted that the new school will be an asset to both the school district and the community. Other school board members present were Jon Meyer, Felton Williams, Diana Craighead, John McGinnis and Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser.
Designed to serve up to 800 students in grades 9-12, the school opened last fall with its first class of ninth graders (each year, another new class will be added). Students are selected from applicants across the school district and neighboring communities.
Built with input from business/industry leaders and faculty from Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach, the school is equipped with the latest computer and Internet technology, as well as a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen.
Other features include two-story classroom buildings, labs, a gymnasium and a multi-purpose room surrounding a central open courtyard. A covered amphitheater and dining patio provide common areas for student gatherings. An all-weather field and two parking lots are located on the lower level.