Anyone driving by has noticed that the major modernization project of John Burroughs Middle School has begun. In mid-October, officials from LAUSD briefed the community on the construction process, which began back in 2016 and is expected to be completed in 2026 at a cost of $23 million. In addition to modernizing more than 97 percent of the classrooms and other facilities, the project will restore the historic quad, once the focus of the school campus, by removing temporary buildings that have been added over the decades. New sports fields will be added, along with a three-story cafeteria building with new locker rooms on the bottom floor.
LAUSD contractor Kemp Bros. Construction provided an animation of the construction project at the recent community meeting.
Students will be on campus and school will be in session throughout the projects, which is one of reasons for the longer time frame, according to the LAUSD officials who presented a comprehensive review of the project, construction timeline,s and mitigation measures they have in place to address the impact of construction on students and the surrounding neighborhoods.
“As a Hancock Park Homeowners Association board member and liaison to John Burroughs Middle School, we are monitoring the construction project and assuring compliance on a daily basis,” David Gajda, told the Buzz.
Residents who live on McCadden Place and in the immediate area surrounding the school do continue to complain about traffic congestion.
“Traffic disruptions caused by parents dropping off students continue to be the number one neighborhood complaint, which has escalated due to Covid-19 testing measures at the school and various construction disruptions,” said Gajda.
While school officials have tried to step up enforcement, the traffic issues persist and the modernization project will not address them entirely since students will continue to picked up and dropped on McCadden Place until the project is complete. However, buses will be moved from McCadden to Wilshire Blvd., where they will arrive and depart in a new parking lot for school staff, according to officials. The car line will continue on McCadden, according to officials, because moving it was not workable, but the presenters said they hope that taking the buses off McCadden will reduce overall congestion on that street.
Construction hours for the project will be Monday – Friday, 7 am – 9 pm (with no construction noise allowed before or after those hours), and Saturday: 8 am –6 pm (with no construction noise allowed outside those hours). Generally, said officials, construction work will stop around 4 p.m., and LAUSD will notify the neighborhood if there are any late hours or unusual construction. Teresa Atkins is the community outreach coordinate for LAUSD and can be reached at 213-241-1326 or by email at [email protected]. LAUSD also has a 24-hour number for the Watch Commander at 213-625-6631.
While the construction is likely to be challenging for neighbors and students, it’s also exciting to see this huge investment in a local neighborhood school that serves students from all over through its Magnet programs. (Though student enrollment will not increase with the project.) Below is a gallery of slides from the officials’ recent presentation. The entire presentation can be downloaded here.