LONG BEACH — School officials say they are still optimistic about raising enough money for a proposed $500,000 expansion of their sixth-grade camp in the mountains, despite a disappointing response to their plea for contributions of personal income tax rebates.
As of Monday, they said, the plea had netted only about $20,500. "That's minuscule in terms of $500,000," said Jack DuBois, associate director of educational partnerships for the Long Beach Unified School District, who is overseeing the drive.
For 39 years, Camp Hi-Hill Outdoor School near Mt. Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains has provided weeklong outdoor educational experiences for thousands of sixth-grade pupils and their teachers. Recent increases in school enrollment, however, have made it difficult to accommodate all of the would-be campers, prompting district officials to warn that next year for the first time Hi-Hill may have to turn away some youngsters.
The proposed expansion would add two children's cabins and one adult cabin, bringing total capacity to about 5,800 students a year. Fred Partridge, Hi-Hill's resident principal for the past 22 years, said the project would provide adequate space for about five years, after which the camp could probably begin operating year-round.