L.A. City Beat takes a look at the school district’s effort to demolish more than two blocks of Echo Park to build a new school on Site 9A despite a sharp drop in enrollment and a flawed selection process. The story focuses on the the Villanueva family, which was forced to sell their home under the threat of eminent domain. Here’s an excerpt:
“A year later, the family was served an eminent domain notice that they would be evicted from the house in which they had lived for 26 years. They ended up moving around the block, and have now joined other Echo Park community members engaged in a legal battle entering its third year over the massive swath of 49 mostly modest stucco homes that the school district has swallowed up in this once tight-knit neighborhood. Declining elementary school enrollment and fierce local opposition raise questions not only about the district’s tactics in the name of its aggressive building program, but whether the upheaval in the neighborhood was even necessary. It’s hard to imagine that voters – if they could have known about the ruin it would mean for dozens of families here – would have generously approved three bond measures, totaling nearly $10 billion.”Click here for the full story.