Two Small High Schools In Planning Stages
Rendering of future
Browning High School
in Long Beach
Following the successful launch this year of McBride High, the district’s first new high school in a generation, two more small high schools will be opened in the Long Beach Unified School District in the next few years.
The Board of Education recently approved a plan to convert Hill Classical Middle School in east Long Beach to a small high school, replicating the California Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMS), a nationally honored LBUSD high school.
In Signal Hill, groundwork is being laid for the future Browning High, an 800-student campus focusing on career paths in tourism and hospitality. Construction on the site of the former Browning car dealership is expected to begin next summer and will take about two years to complete.
Due to the campus’ proximity to the Long Beach Convention Center and Port of Long Beach, it is well situated to develop educational partnerships with hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, and other tourism-related businesses in the area. Tourism is the largest industry in Long Beach and expected to experience growth in the future.
Meanwhile, Hill Classical Middle School will be phased out over the next three years, allowing a CAMS-like school, serving about 675 students, to be phased in at the site. The emphasis on math and science studies there is designed to prepare students for high-demand jobs in related fields.
“The program at CAMS regularly receives applications from twice as many qualified students as the school can accept, so replicating it helps meet strong demand among students and parents," said Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser.
The plan to phase out Hill is due in part to declining enrollment at the school and district wide. It also ties into the school district’s Facility Master Plan, which calls for creation of several smaller high schools.
Facility improvements at Hill will include an already-planned demolition of the existing gym, which will be replaced with a physical education facility and locker rooms. Additional parking spaces will be created, and classrooms will be converted to accommodate the high school science curriculum.
The new high school at the Hill campus is scheduled to open in fall of 2015 while Browning High is expected to open in fall of 2016.