Home Career The state will pay $250 million to renovate Lynnwood High School

The state will pay $250 million to renovate Lynnwood High School


At 9:16 a.m. on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 8 tons of concrete and a metal roof collapsed without warning onto the hall leading to the main classroom building at Linwood High School. But instead of morning classes at the campus of 1,900 students, the school was vacant due to the forced closure of the pandemic.

There are no casualties. Two police cars parked under a shady path were destroyed.

But a major structural failure prompted safety inspections that revealed serious defects that shut down the 20-year-old campus — and led the school district to conclude that its main three-story, 110-classroom building was unsalvageable and must be rebuilt . demolished.

Officials announced Friday that the state has agreed to pay $250 million for a new classroom building and make other needed repairs.

“At a time when our students were usually on campus looking for shade on a hot summer day, the unexpected happened: a lot of concrete collapsed”, Linwood Supp. said Goodiel Crosthwaite. “Fortunately, it happened during the pandemic and our students were not here. Our schools were closed…. But it also forced us to relocate students and created a domino effect in our district and our community, putting our learning environment at risk. The failure of other constructions has failed our students.”

The relatively new 43.7-acre campus, built at a cost of $101 million, was a symbolic touchstone for society and a school system of about 13,000 students that is about 94% Hispanic and about 5% black, with about 94% of students coming from low-income families.

In the fall of 2021, when nearly all students statewide resumed full-time instruction, those enrolled at Linwood High School were directed to the rapidly renovated high school. Meanwhile, the elementary school was expanded to sixth grade to compensate for the adaptation of the middle school.

The athletic facilities at the high school were inadequate for high school sports, but students were still able to use the outdoor fields and gym on the indoor campus.

The relocations and structural study cost the district about $16.2 million.

Students at Lynnwood High School attend classes at the renovated high school after a ceiling collapsed on their campus in 2020 and the building was deemed unserviceable.

(Jenna Molina/Los Angeles Times)

The inspection revealed that shoddy workmanship, which led to the ceiling above the hall collapsing, was widespread.

All the covered exterior corridors that surrounded each floor of the building had the same deficiencies. Any site could collapse without warning at any moment, said Manuel Jaramillo, a construction manager and architect with Del Terra Group, who was among those who investigated the site and found that construction on the site did not conform to state-approved plans. .

Among the challenges: The roof decks had to have solid bracing every 10 feet. Instead, there was one stretcher for the entire 30-foot span. In addition, the non-supporting sections lacked a solid beam that goes through the entire span. Instead, the two cantilever beams met in the middle and were butted together without braces at the joint, Jaramillo said.

Everywhere inspectors looked, they found more problems, school district officials said. It was not possible to save the building.

“The contractor that built the school is the first school they’ve built and the last they’ve built based on the information we’ve received,” said Gregory Fromm, assistant superintendent of business services, who added that the contractor has been out of business for a long time. . business.

The county looked at various options, including litigation and insurance. But officials said they didn’t find out their insurance covered the defects until 10 years later. Meanwhile, district officials said on Friday that they do not have the right to a contractor. In a settlement about 20 years ago, stemming from an earlier lawsuit, the district agreed to accept the school as is and not pursue future claims against the contractor, said Linwood School Board President Alfonso Morales, who was a student in the district at the time. construction of a school.

Morales said the lack of viable options, as well as clear answers to how it happened more than 20 years ago, has frustrated current district leaders who were intent on reopening the school in their community.

Even state officials who supported the redevelopment project were initially surprised by how much money the district would need, they said Friday; They say $250 million is a big ask Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon and state Sen. Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), both of whom attended Friday’s event.

But they said they were convinced the county lacked viable options for obtaining needed resources by prosecuting the responsible parties.

“Lynwood had a tremendous need because of the catastrophic circumstances,” Rendon said. “I am very pleased that we had the opportunity to provide funding to meet this need. Any way you look at it, the students in the Linwood schools would be the ones who would suffer if the state didn’t step in.”

“My team was a little hesitant,” Gonzalez said. “They said you know we’re going to be asking for a lot of money here. … We just knew we wanted to get it.”

“Linwood deserves this,” she added, “to ensure that these kids really have the space to think differently about the future.”

To simplify the project, the existing building will be replaced with an already approved high school building plan that was erected elsewhere.

At risk – and currently being assessed – is the nearby performing arts center, which is part of the campus. The structure includes dance and music studios, a set building shop, and a 600-seat theater that has been used as a neighborhood and community performance venue in a low-income city with no similar facility elsewhere.

Denise Ortiz, a recent Lynnwood High School salutatorian who is headed to USC, said the past two years have been tough for everyone.

“I really liked the Lynwood High campus,” she said. “There are so many facilities, so many programs that I have to participate in, especially the biomedical program that we offer here. And we had our own laboratories. It really felt like you were integrating yourself into what you were going to see in the future.”

Instead, she resumed her personal training at the old high school campus, now overcrowded, that she thought she had left behind.

Growing up, 11th grader Mia Young has never been introduced to the school campus, between the pandemic and the construction condemnation. The construction project will likely take about four years to complete after she graduates.

But she was performing Friday as part of the district’s summer school cooking class team, handing out fruit parfaits, breakfast burritos and muffins.

Tables with refreshments were a few steps away from the architectural drawings of the new classroom building.

“I’m really interested to see what it’s going to look like, even though I probably won’t be here,” Mia said.

Source link

Previous articleEconomic fears are fueling plans for retirees to keep working during the pandemic
Next article‘Top Chef’ finalist Nick Wallace shares the bounty