Educational equity: LAUSD board approves $26M more to Boyle Heights school $190M upgrade

District officials said this is fulfilling promises from the 1968 East Los Angeles walkouts.

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Thursday, September 16, 2021
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LA unified and residents celebrate the completion of a new ultramodern gymnasium at the Roosevelt High School campus, which is part of a $190 million upgrade project.

BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education passed an item to allocate an additional $26 million to the existing $190 million comprehensive modernization project for the Roosevelt High School campus, bringing the total to $216 million.

This week, local officials, students and residents celebrated the completion of a new state-of-the-art gymnasium with a ribbon-cutting. The new facility is a part of the project to improve the campus. Alumni also celebrated the big day, including elected officials who graduated from the school.

"To know that now we are reopening Roosevelt High School amid COVID in a brand new structure to really symbolize for students in this community that their education matters, that they matter and that we are investing in their future, and that just means the world to me," said Wendy Carrillo, alum and state assemblymember who represents the East Los Angeles area.

The project includes a new ultramodern gym, a classroom building with admin offices, a wellness clinic and a performing arts center.

"We know we deserve these facilities and I promise we will make the most use of them as possible. To the future rough riders, be kind to what has been given to you," said student America Munoz.

According to district officials, the initial $190 million for the project was funded by voters who said yes to a bond initiative more than 12 years ago.

"Thank you, voters of Los Angeles, for investing in our children over and over again," said Monica Garcia, LAUSD board member for District 2, which includes Roosevelt High School.

Community members said this project is fulfilling promises from the East Los Angeles walkouts of 1968, which is when Chicano students protested for education equity.

"We celebrate the actions that fulfill the promise this district made to los niños heroes y la niñas heroes [boys and girls heroes], who demanded equal access to quality facilities and education in Los Angeles Unified," said Garcia.

Among the alum present at the celebration was Los Angeles City Councilmember Gil Cedillo.

"I am, of course, of the Chicano era and of the Chicano movement. And, those were our demands, those were our interest. We wanted dignity, we wanted respect. But most of all we wanted equity," said Councilmember Cedillo. "We wanted to have the same types of resources, the same types of commitments and same type of promise that all of the young people throughout this region had."

While the gym building has been completed, other parts of the $190 million modernization project are done the rest are still under construction. Those are expected to be completed in spring 2023.

The additional $26 million, which is from another bond, will expand and upgrade the football, baseball, softball and track and field areas.

Construction for this part of the project has not been announced.

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