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Addition to Crowded Roosevelt Junior High to Be Started

July 10, 1986|ROY H. CAMPBELL | Times Staff Writer

Construction is expected to begin this month on a $1.5-million, two-story addition to Theodore Roosevelt Junior High School, the most crowded junior high in the Glendale Unified School District.

An 11-classroom building will replace dilapidated wooden bungalows that have served as temporary classrooms for more than a decade. The bungalows occupy former playground space on the 1017 S. Glendale Ave. campus.

The school board awarded a contract last week for the project, which is scheduled to be completed by the 1987-88 school year.

Along with the classrooms, the addition will contain a storage room, restrooms and an elevator for the handicapped. However, it does not include parking facilities, something teachers say is sorely needed. The only parking now available to staffers is on nearby streets, with hours limited to allow for street cleaning.

Roosevelt was built in 1920 to house about 550 students. Last school year, the student body numbered 1,047. Nineteen temporary bungalows, which school officials have described as fire hazards, were built during the last decade to handle the overflow. Classes also were held in the auditorium, teachers said.

At one point, the school board considered busing some of Roosevelt's students to other junior highs. That proposal was rejected, however, because of the expense.

Charter Construction Corp. of North Hollywood was awarded the contract last week to build the new classrooms and is scheduled to begin construction July 21. The city has allocated $1.1 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funds to pay for most of the project. The school district will also spend $400,000 from its reserve fund.

Roosevelt draws its students mainly from south of Colorado Street, an area that has seen much population growth in the last decade, mostly of minority groups. As a result, the school is considered an ethnic melting pot, with 68% of its students from minority groups, contrasted with about 49% districtwide.

An influx of businesses and residences presents Glendale school officials with yet another problem: how to find adequate parking for the school's teachers, staff and visitors.

"Parking is really a nightmare down there," said board member Jane M. Whitaker.

Roosevelt is the only junior high in the district that does not have allotted parking spaces for its staff. Teachers scrambling for limited street parking grew so frustrated that, two months ago, they sent a delegation to a school board meeting.

"We're tired of the Roosevelt parking jokes because our situation is not funny. It's costly," English teacher Doreen Seeley told the board. "It's costly in terms of emotional stress, vandalism, parking fines and morale."

Shortly after that, teachers were temporarily allowed to park on the front lawn of the school while the city finished street work in the area.

Supt. Robert A. Sanchis said the district met last month with city officials to discuss ways to solve the parking problem.

"Our options are some kind of parking permits or possibly building our own parking facility," Sanchis said. In any event, the parking will not be available until after construction of the new building.

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