Lynwood High students forced to relocate after ceiling collapse

"It looks like, unfortunately, people took shortcuts," said Gudiel Crosthwaite, Lynwood Unified School District Superintendent.
LYNWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- In June 2020, a section of an exterior roofing panel collapsed from a building at Lynwood High School. At the time, no students were present due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it did prompt an investigation.

"What we're talking about is tons of concrete that collapsed on two employee vehicles during the pandemic," said Gudiel Crosthwaite, the Lynwood Unified School District Superintendent. "Fortunately, because no school was here, no one was injured during this incident."

After the collapse of the ceiling, the Lynwood Unified School District determined it was best to move the approximately 1,900 high school students to the Lynwood Middle School campus, which had to undergo several upgrades to accommodate.

"The district was able to situate us in a campus where there's enough space to hold all of us," said Chris Gutierrez, a Lynwood High School senior student. "Although there are a few things they are still working on like we still don't have the chem labs ready, but I know we'll have that by the end of the year."

The investigation into why the building collapsed is still ongoing, and since the collapse, there's been an investigation into all the buildings on the campus and more defects have been found.

"We not only inspected the ceilings, but we inspected all the walls on the entire campus and what we learned is that there was a difference in terms of the design and the build," said Crosthwaite. "The build was not done according to the design. It looks like, unfortunately, people took shortcuts."

At the moment, there is no date set to reopen the school. School district officials are hoping to get support from local legislators. State Sen. Lena Gonzalez and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon toured the campus to see the damage firsthand.

"It's important for me to see with my own eyes what's happening here in this community," said Rendon. "It's a very important school for the district. So many students from the district come to this school. It's very important to the city of Lynwood as well."

The school district estimates it would take a total of $248 million to make all the necessary repairs and bring the school up to code for the Lynwood High School students.

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