Using the power of eminent domain,
the school district has railroaded a proposal for an 875-seat school, despite evidence that they have selected the wrong location
for a school. A group known as The Right Site Coalition formed to try to persuade the school district of the inherent problems
in their project but have been ignored.
It took the school district just eight weeks to identify the site and then
have the school board vote on it as their preferred location in September 2004. Since then, they have refused to acknowledge
the problems with the location, which covers a section of Alvarado, Marathon, Santa Ynez and Mohawk streets. Here are a few facts:
schools across Echo Park have lost a thousand students since 2001– most notably, Logan Elementary School, which is just
five blocks from the new school site. Logan has gone from
1,298 students in 2001 to 920 students this year, without any new schools opening anywhere near it. Its students live across
the street from the proposed 875-seat school. See chart below for details.
/smaller>/smaller>/fontfamily>• /smaller>/smaller>/fontfamily>Echo Park community
leaders support a site south of the 101 Freeway on Temple Street,
which is much closer to the area’s most crowded elementary schools. This alternative site houses the LAPD’s Rampart
Station, which will move to MacArthur Park
in 2008. The LAPD wants a SWAT facility on the site instead.
9A is on Alvarado Street, a heavily-traveled state
highway, just south of Sunset Boulevard, an equally congested corridor. Because Alvarado is used by cars on the 2 Freeway
to reach the 101 Freeway, it is incredibly dangerous for children walking to school. In 2002, the Los Angeles Times
did a report on pedestrian deaths on Alvarado. Even the city’s Department of Transportation won’t sign off on
the LAUSD’s Mitigated Negative Declaration for the site.
Councilman Eric Garcetti opposes the proposed school site, out of concern for the large numbers of residents who will be displaced.
In Echo Park’s
skyrocketing housing market, Latino and Filipino families on the site will likely have to leave the neighborhood forever.