A permanent campus for an all-girls public school is being built out shipping containers in Van Nuys

GALS LA will have a new campus in Van Nuys that is being built entirely out of shipping containers.

Amanda Palacios Image
Saturday, February 18, 2023
New campus for an all-girls school is built out of shipping containers
GALS LA - which stands for Girls Athletic Leadership School Los Angeles will have a new campus in Van Nuys built entirely out of shipping containers.

VAN NUYS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- GALS LA - which stands for Girls Athletics Leadership School Los Angeles is the first all-girls middle school in the San Fernando Valley for sixth to eighth-grade students.

But for the past seven years, the students have never had a campus of their own. GALS LA is currently sharing a campus with Panorama High School, making it difficult for the students to have their own space and free time.

"I feel like sharing a campus isn't as fun and you don't get some of the same experiences because right now it's limited space in a way," said student Emma Salazar.

Now, students will finally have a school to call home! Construction has begun on a new permanent campus in Van Nuys.

"This is our first solo campus. We've had to move three times in our existence. So this will be our fourth and final move," said Gals LA Founder and Executive Director Carrie Wagner.

"Now that we have our own area, we won't get mixed up and we'll still be able to have fun in all of our classes," said student Truly Wills.

The new site is being built entirely out of shipping containers, a sustainable and eco-friendly design created by an all-women architect team.

"These girls do amazing things and amazing work. And so, we're excited to be part of it in providing this facility for them," said Etmny Arias-Cornejo, Principal and CFO of Franco Architects Inc.

"This is something we're really proud of. The majority of the manufacturing work is done in the factory, not on-site," said Stephanie Liu, Design Principal of Franco Architects Inc. "So, in this residential neighborhood, it's good for neighbors."

The school will hold a total of 330 students and will feature a two-story facility with classrooms and multi-purpose areas.

"By the time we're done here, we'll have 36 containers for the first floor and then another 36 containers for the second floor," Wagner said.

Officials say construction will be completed by the end of July, just in time for students to start school on a brand-new campus.

"We are enrolling now, we have spaces. We're going to have this amazing new facility. So, we'll be moving here over the summer," Wagner said.

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