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John Burroughs Modernization Project Continues with Demolition of Old Cafeteria Building

On Saturday, November 26, construction crews removed rubble from the newly demolished cafeteria building at John Burroughs Middle School. The demolition was a scheduled part of the campus modernization project that has been underway for several years.


Students and staff returning to John Burroughs Middle School yesterday after a week of Thanksgiving vacation likely noticed some big changes since they last saw the campus just 10 days earlier. As part of the ongoing campus modernization project, which has been in the works since 2016, and with construction happening for about a year now, the old cafeteria building, just south of the auditorium on McCadden Pl., was torn down last week to make room for new construction.

The day after the demolition, we noticed several alarmed posts on local social media, with some people wondering if the school’s more historic 1920s buildings just to the north along McCadden would be demolished as well.  But we can definitely assure our readers that all is going exactly to the long-term plans, and that the historic main school building and auditorium will be fully preserved.

According to plans for the project, as presented to the community in both 2019 and 2021, the old cafeteria and classroom building (in yellow, below, and which was not one of the campus’ historic original buildings)…



…will be replaced by a new, larger food service building, which will also house a new multi-purpose room for the school (light blue building at the bottom of the frame below).


2019 drawing showing the food and MPR building that will replace the old cafeteria along McCadden Pl.


Rendering of what the new cafeteria building will look like from McCadden Pl.


The demolition of the old cafeteria apparently kicks off Phase 2A of the multi-year construction project, which will now move into construction of the new food service building, an adjacent lunch shelter, and new basketball courts.



And this will be followed by Phase 2B, which will add a new locker room building, too.



The full project is scheduled to be completed in 2026, and as far as we can tell from the plans above, it appears to be proceeding on schedule. (We did reach out to LAUSD staff to confirm this, but their response was simply, “We have no further information to share at this time.”)


The original John Burroughs school building and its adjacent auditorium are still standing and will be both preserved and updated as part of the larger campus modernization project.


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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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