Sunday, November 26, 2006

Hospital High: Not in Granada Hills

I've just received word of a community protest alert. I've seen nothing of it online or in the media, so I thought I'd share. Now ,for perspective, Granada Hills is one of the most active neighborhoods in Los Angeles. For years, the community has banded together to fight the Sunshine Canyon Landfill. They are also home to the largest Charter High School in the nation: Granada Hills Charter High School.

So, the community of Granada Hills will be coming together again, this time to fight the LAUSD. The school district had purchased the former Granada Hills Hospital at Balboa and Devonshire to build a high school, but the community is fighting the district saying they have lied to the community, they don't have the students from the local community to attend the school, that there are traffic and parking issues the District has refused to address (and may not be able to), and that a hospital there better serves the community.

The community will be holding a press conference tomorrow at 9am at the location of the proposed high school/former hospital. What follows is the text of the media alert:

For Immediate Release: November 22, 2006

School Board Candidates, Neighborhood Councils and Chamber of Commerce Hold Joint Press Conference Calling on LAUSD to Stop Proposed High School in Granada Hills

Granada Hills: Monday, November 27 at 9:00 am, Granada Hills South Neighborhood Council, Old Granada Hills ResidentsÂ’ Group and Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce will call on the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board to vote against building a proposed high school in Granada Hills.

The community groups will be joined by Councilmember Greig Smith, whose 12th District includes the proposed school site, many of the opposition candidates running for Board Member of LAUSD District Three, and community residents. They have all joined together in urging the LAUSD Board to vote on November 28 against building Valley Regional High School #4 in Granada Hills.

LAUSD has failed to provide the community the formally requested demographic and quantitative data specifically justifying the need for the school on the site of the former Granada Hills Community Hospital. LAUSD proposes building this $100-million school where it is not needed, while many communities throughout the region have a great and urgent need for new schools and while LAUSD claims it doesnÂ’t have enough money to complete the schools it planned to build with its $20 billion bond.

Residents have conducted their own analysis that disputes LAUSD'’s claim that a high school was needed at that location, so Councilman Smith submitted a Freedom of Information Request to the LAUSD School Board on behalf of the community seeking specific data justifying the need for the school. He also sent letters urging the LAUSD School Construction Bond Oversight Committee to investigate whether the school should be built there.

The proposed high school also takes away a hospital with an emergency room at a time when the entire region is facing an alarming shortage of emergency room beds, resulting in serious delays in providing emergency healthcare and placing lives at risk.

WHO: Neighborhood Councils, Chamber of Commerce, LAUSD candidates, elected officials, residents

WHAT: Press conference, groups urging LAUSD Committee to reject proposed high school

WHERE: 10445 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills 91344 (1 block north of Devonshire)

WHEN: Monday, November 27, 2006. 9:00 am

VISUALS: On the steps of the closed Granada Hills Hospital

CONTACT: Dave Beauvais, President, Old Granada Hills Residents'’ Group

(818) 831-2318 // Cell: (818) 634-1511 //

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