The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday cleared the way for the school district to convert its huge downtown headquarters into a 2,200-seat high school within four years.
The board agreed to buy a 29-story office building on South Beaudry Street for its new headquarters, half a mile from the current home on Grand Avenue.
In a press release, the district said it paid $74.5 million for the building, but did not disclose other costs. But district documents and sources estimate that acquiring the building could more than double that figure.
One district official said the additional costs were not included in the press release because they had not been authorized and were only estimates.
The district plans to consolidate its Grand Avenue operations and five other downtown office locations in the 928,000-square-foot building.
One of the downtown sites, an annex that now serves as a book repository, will provide land for a second school of about 500 students, officials said. The district hasn't decided which grade level that campus will serve.
The Grand Avenue high school, referred to as Los Angeles High School No. 9, is scheduled to open in 2005. Officials did not provide a timeline for opening the second school.
Together, the two new campuses will provide desperately needed classroom seats in the school district's most crowded area.
The Grand Avenue staff will move in March to the new location, which sits just two blocks from the unfinished Belmont Learning Complex, officials said.