Declining enrollment has prompted the Los Angeles Unified School District to scale back its $20 billion school construction and remodeling program. Since the fall, the school system has canceled plans for 19 new schools and additions to existing campuses in South Gate, Bell, Van Nuys, San Fernando, Sun Valley and central Los Angeles, among other areas, citing new enrollment projections. On Tuesday, the school board downsized plans for five new schools, eliminating more than 1,000 seats.
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FROM OCTOBER 2007: The Los Angeles school district wants to close most of a deficit in its school-construction program by using more than $1 billion in bond money that was meant for other purposes. The proposal would use for new schools money earmarked for repairing and modernizing existing schools, and improving Internet access and other technology. Instead, the funds would be used to build 145 schools in an effort to provide neighborhood campuses that operate on a traditional schedule. (Los Angeles Times)
EARLIER: Los Angeles will be able to count on more than $600 million in state school construction funds because of a bill signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The money is needed to close part of an estimated $2-billion deficit in the district's $20-billion construction and modernization program, the nation's largest school building effort. (Los Angeles Times)
The projected shortfall in the new Los Angeles Unified School District's campus construction program has ballooned from $1.6 billion to at least $2.4 billion in the last six months, the result of spiraling construction costs. The previous $1.6-billion deficit was based on future project-cost estimates of $500 per square foot. The shortfall rises to $2.4 billion at $600 per square foot and $3.2 billion at $700 per square foot. Two recent bids came in near the $700 mark. (Los Angeles Times)