LAUSD demolition plan of Roosevelt High buildings strikes controversy

- A community is working to stop plans to demolish parts of a school that many say has a history that goes back almost 100-years.

The Los Angeles School District has a proposal out to tear down buildings at Roosevelt High School. It’s a proposal that has taken many people in Boyle Heights by surprise.

There’s a buzz around the area that a piece of its history is set to be cut out of the neighborhood—a demolition of multiple buildings at Roosevelt High School.

"Us as a community, should stand together and it would be nice to get more people to go against it because it's a lot of history at Roosevelt,” said Alonso Romo.

Romo is an RHS alumni. He opened up his barbershop, LA City Clips, down the street from the high school his entire family attended, including his younger sister, Laura Romo.

"Just the painting I think it needs a little work, but I think everything's fine,” Laura told FOX 11’s Leah Uko.

The siblings are working to block the Los Angeles Unified School District’s proposal, which they first found out about on November 1.

"Roosevelt High has been the main school here,” Romo said. “So I think it will be a little bit heartbreaking for most people, including myself."

Alumni and teachers say the school board gave them notice about the demolition, but it was under the radar.

"I was surprised when they told me,” Laura continued. "I was kind of like mad that they didn't let everyone know there were meetings, but it wasn't really out there for all the neighbors."

Posters were put up in some areas, but the word “demolition” was not posted. “Comprehensive Modernization Project” was printed, which Laura found misleading.

"I thought that it was just signing papers so that the art building could stay up."

The siblings say the buildings at RHS may be old, but they serve students well today just as they did in the 60's during the walkouts of the Chicano movements and for the Japanese who came here after World War II.

"I like it the way it is."

Dozens of people submitted a comment ford to LAUSD stating why they want the buildings to be renovated and not demolished. The deadline to submit was Thursday, November 16.

Elvia Perez Cano with LAUSD released a statement Thursday:

"L.A. Unified is working on plans to modernize the Roosevelt High School Campus to provide safe and equitable school facilities to prepare students from the Boyle Heights community for the 21st century.

Roosevelt High School was originally built in the 1920's and the Roosevelt High School students, staff and community are deserving of investments to improve and update the Roosevelt High School campus. 

There has been extensive community engagement which will continue until the project’s completion. The California Environmental Quality Act Scoping period officially ends today, however; there will be future opportunities for the public to comment on the Environmental Review of the proposed project when the Draft Environmental Impact Report is released, which is anticipated in the first quarter of 2018. A final decision as to whether to proceed with the proposed project will be made after the environmental review process is complete and the Final Environmental Impact Report has been considered by the Board of Education.

Please continue to mail/e-mail your comments to Edward Paek at 333 S. Beaudry Avenue, 21st Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90017 or Edward.paek@lausd.net."

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