The Los Angeles Unified School District has purchased a 14.4-acre site for a new middle school in the severely crowded northeast San Fernando Valley, district officials said Friday.
The new school is expected to accommodate 1,629 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders in 67 classrooms and relieve crowding at Fulton Middle School in Van Nuys and Sepulveda Middle School in North Hills, officials said.
The $12.9-million property, the former site of the Van Nuys Drive-In at Roscoe Boulevard and Noble Avenue, was purchased from Jane and Bert Boeckmann, owners of the Galpin Ford dealership in North Hills, officials said.
About $2.5 million of the purchase price will be offset by transferring ownership of the district's maintenance and operation yard in the 8200 block of Orion Avenue to the Boeckmanns, officials said. The yard, which served LAUSD Subdistrict C, will be relocated to a site near Birmingham High School in Van Nuys.
District officials first eyed the drive-in property as a potential school site in October 1998 and began environmental studies, school officials said. Before the studies were completed, however, the Boeckmanns bought the site for $9.94 million in June 2000 in a deal arranged by real estate developer and former mayoral candidate Steve Soboroff.
The seller, Circuit City Stores Inc., was represented by Soboroff, who was chairman of the Proposition BB oversight committee on school construction at the time. Soboroff has said that he first offered the property to the district, but LAUSD officials wavered and only became interested after the Boeckmanns bought the land.
The Los Angeles school board in March adopted a resolution of necessity--a step short of taking the property by eminent domain--to obtain the site, officials said. There are no buildings on the property.