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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 2000 | DOUG SMITH, TIMES EDUCATION WRITER
Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan has thrown himself into the fight over the Belmont Learning Complex, quietly suggesting state legislation that could remove a major obstacle to completing the now-abandoned downtown high school. Riordan has declined to speak on the record about his efforts. But sources within the school district and the city administration say the mayor is seeking a pragmatic solution to the protracted debate over the school in the hope of providing badly needed classroom space.
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OPINION
March 13, 2011 | By Connie Rice
I've served 10 years on the citizens committee that oversees the Los Angeles Unified School District's building program. As I leave that post, I've drawn one clear conclusion: Educators should not manage large school construction programs. Without an independent, professionally run school construction authority, taxpayers will never be protected from the kind of mismanagement chronicled in The Times' "Billions to Spend" series on the bungled building program of the Los Angeles Community College District, and in news articles more than a decade earlier about the Los Angeles Unified School District's Belmont fiasco.
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NEWS
May 23, 1991
Last year, state voters approved $1.6 billion in school construction bonds--$800 million in June and $800 million in November. The money is already allocated and there is a backlog of at least $5.5 billion in approved school construction projects waiting for additional funding. This chart shows how the November money was distributed. $603 million (75.4%) was used for school construction or expansion. $52 million (6.5%) went for modernization.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 17, 2010 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Four key consultants behind the nation's largest school construction program have been suspended from their work with the Los Angeles Unified School District pending an internal investigation into their recently formed company, The Times has learned. The suspended consultants ? Charlie Anderson, John Creer, Rod Hamilton and Edwin Van Ginkel ? have held prominent roles in acquiring real estate and overseeing environmental reviews, planning and school design over the last decade.
OPINION
December 3, 2005
Re "The Times is blind to bulldozers flattening homes," Outside the Tent column, Current, Nov. 27 For months, members of the Right Site Coalition, Echo Park community members and businesses have tried to get The Times interested in this critical issue of overdevelopment by the Los Angeles Unified School District. Despite The Times' (Oct. 12) report of LAUSD's enrollment dropping dramatically throughout Los Angeles, especially at the elementary school level, the district pushes on with the bulldozers, insisting on building numerous elementary schools in increasingly declining enrollment areas, totally disregarding shifting demographics and charter school enrollments.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2000 | DOUG SMITH, TIMES EDUCATION WRITER
Los Angeles school officials agreed Friday to test a new method of school construction and allow private developers to build a limited number of primary centers. Following basic specifications from the Los Angeles Unified School District, the developers would finance the construction with bank loans and sell the completed schools to the district. "We are looking to try some pilot projects to see if the concept works," said Howard Miller, the district's chief operating officer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 18, 1990
Many of us parents of students at Laguna Beach High School are very concerned about the planned reconstruction of the school, because it will completely disrupt the education of our children for at least two to three years. The article "School Renovation Plans Criticized" (Oct. 30) indicated that a new building is planned at the high school. Actually, the entire campus will be under construction for years, and no corner of the campus will be protected from the noise. So far, much thought has gone into the design of the reconstruction, but no attention has been given to providing the current students with a reasonable learning environment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 1996 | NICK GREEN
With steadily rising enrollment causing a space crunch at Fillmore schools, the district's board today is scheduled to discuss how it will pay to complete construction of the middle school. The construction project is one of 11 recommendations contained in a long-range planning document. A year in the making, the report is a detailed analysis of the district's capital-improvement needs extending into the next century. "We expect by the year 2000 to be up above 4,000 kids," Supt.
WORLD
November 24, 2009 | By Barbara Demick
An activist who was investigating the role shoddy school construction played in the deaths of more than 5,000 children in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake was given a three-year prison sentence Monday on charges of possessing state secrets. Huang Qi, 46, a veteran activist and blogger, is the most prominent of more than a dozen people who were arrested for demanding investigations into construction standards after the magnitude 7.9 temblor. Others included prominent artists, former teachers and parents who lost their only children in the earthquake.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 29, 2009 | Seema Mehta
Guy Mehula, the highly regarded head of the Los Angeles Unified School District's massive school construction program, has resigned after an apparent power struggle with district leadership. In a brief letter to subordinates Monday, Mehula gave no hint of discord, painting his departure as an opportunity to search for new challenges. "The work that we have done together and the investments we have made in our schools, community, and economy are significant," he wrote. But critics say Mehula's resignation is fallout from a growing rift between his facilities services division and district headquarters, prompted by policy changes made by Supt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 15, 2009 | Howard Blume
The Los Angeles Unified School District plans to sharply raise the property taxes of hundreds of thousands of L.A. homeowners because the recession has pushed down tax revenues needed to repay school bonds. The economic downturn has also caused a potential cash-flow crisis for the nation's largest school-construction program. The district is allowed to raise taxes under little-known legal protections for bond holders. In essence, if revenues from property taxes can't cover installment payments for bond debt, L.A. Unified can raise tax rates, even if they rise above past projections.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 23, 2007 | Evelyn Larrubia, Times Staff Writer
The Los Angeles Unified School District has limited the authority of one of its senior-level construction managers to supervise consultants that he supplies to the district through his side firm after a Times article exposed the practice.
OPINION
December 3, 2005
Re "The Times is blind to bulldozers flattening homes," Outside the Tent column, Current, Nov. 27 For months, members of the Right Site Coalition, Echo Park community members and businesses have tried to get The Times interested in this critical issue of overdevelopment by the Los Angeles Unified School District. Despite The Times' (Oct. 12) report of LAUSD's enrollment dropping dramatically throughout Los Angeles, especially at the elementary school level, the district pushes on with the bulldozers, insisting on building numerous elementary schools in increasingly declining enrollment areas, totally disregarding shifting demographics and charter school enrollments.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 7, 2005 | Seema Mehta, Times Staff Writer
Some Anaheim school construction and modernization projects promised to voters when they approved a $132million bond measure in 2002 may not be completed in light of a $49-million shortfall, according to an audit released Tuesday. The audit, requested by the Anaheim Union School District's Board of Trustees, also found a lack of oversight of projects and a failure by the district to secure tens of millions of dollars in state matching funds. "The management of the ...
OPINION
November 23, 2003
Santa Ana Unified School District construction manager Jerry Hills identified the primary reason for the escalating costs of construction as too few bidders. The reduced competition has driven the cost of the new Segerstrom High School from the original estimate of $56 million to $118 million. The redesign of the school from 1,800 to 2,500 students does not warrant this 210% escalation in costs. In 1999 the school board signed a five-year contract with the construction labor unions ensuring all of this work would be controlled by organized labor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 2003 | From Times staff reports
Business and civic leaders met at the Getty Center on Wednesday to discuss how to help the Los Angeles Unified School District with its plans to construct more than 100 schools in the next decade. Mayor James K. Hahn, Los Angeles School Supt. Roy Romer and Disney chief executive Michael Eisner were the keynote speakers at the summit, which drew about 150 people.
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