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School to Sell Sport Fields to Head Off Foreclosure

June 15, 1989|ESTHER SCHRADER | Times Staff Writer

Parents trying to rescue a financially troubled private school in Los Feliz from foreclosure are selling the school's playing fields to a developer, an attorney for the school announced this week.

Century City Investments is in escrow to buy a 3.3-acre parcel from Los Feliz Hills School, a tiny nonprofit institution near Shakespeare Bridge on Russell Avenue. The developer plans to build 49 townhouses on the land.

Parents and administrators at the school say the $2-million land sale will help keep the school afloat. The school's future has been in jeopardy since last year, when it was without a director for months and its finances fell into disarray.

The school has an enrollment of about 180 children ages 2 to 18 and has been struggling to survive since 1984, when administrators broke with the Church of Scientology and church-affiliated parents withdrew their children from the school.

The school owes more than $117,000 in mortgage payments and is running a monthly deficit of $20,000. Community Bank of Los Angeles, which holds the school's mortgages, had initiated foreclosure proceedings against the school but has promised to hold off because of the land sale.

The sale means that the school will have to conduct physical education classes elsewhere. State law requires public and private schools to have such programs.

"I'm not worried at all. I really think that's a solvable problem because other schools have done it," said Christopher Geissmann, school director. "When you look at the alternative, anything that will make us solvent is something we can work with."

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