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Community Digest

Bellflower : Development Ideas Sought for 6 Acres at High School

February 27, 1992

The Bellflower Unified School District board has decided to consider developing six acres of land on the Bellflower High campus.

Under the plan, which passed on a 3-1 vote last week, the district would lease land on the school's southwest corner to supplement the district budget.

"It has to be done to at least get discussion going--to explore alternatives that will bring in ongoing income," said board President Jay Gendreau, who voted for the plan.

"I'm not in favor of ever giving up control of the land, and I think this is the worst time economically to be doing something like this," Gendreau added.

The district has no specific development proposals on the table, but the board vote allows staff members to explore development options.

Trustee Justine Miller voted against the majority, saying the district might need the space to accommodate its growing enrollment. Board member Harold Carman abstained, citing a conflict of interest.

At last week's public hearing, held at the high school, several residents spoke against developing the land. "Six acres sounds like a decent enough place for a new school," resident Dale Gibson said. Other speakers predicted that the land would yield nothing more than a series of unleased store fronts that would attract vandals.

Parent Helen Berndt said she could support development if the lease included an agreement to provide jobs for high school students.

Bellflower High Principal Donn Ashton said developing the land would require relocating the varsity baseball diamond, but he added that the loss of space would not handicap school activities. "We're very fortunate to have a large campus that could be condensed," he said.

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