CASE STUDIES: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
The Cahuenga Project
Planning Process Results
Concordia, Inc., a nationally recognized planning firm, was retained
to assist the LAUSD and the Cahuenga school neighborhood to participate
in a community based systemic planning process. The purpose was
to select sites for education facilities that will contribute
to an integrated Learning Community. This was a broad-based collaborative
planning process involving representatives from the entire community
thus ensuring that the views of the entire community were considered
in the development of the plan.
Our Planning and Site Selection Goals
Through a Steering Committee of approximately one hundred
members, the following goals were achieved.
A) Subcommittees identified the community's resources and assets
through the Concordia model.
B) Subcommittees identified the most pressing wants and needs
of the community.
C) Needs and resources were matched to identify the best potential
sites for new schools in the district.
D) School sites were chosen according to their ability to serve
as centers of community in their neighborhoods and in the District.
Concordia Model Subcommittee Tasks
The above stated goals were achieved through the following
1) The subcommittees catalogued existing facilities and other
2) The subcommittees identified all organizations and existing
and possible joint use programs.
3) The subcommittees identified key social, economic and educational
4) The subcommittees examined grants, programs, initiatives
in operation, or being undertaken in schools, social service
agencies, hospitals, etc. to review for duplication and/or collaborative
5) The subcommittees reviewed all means for funding construction/operations
of public facilities i.e., bonds, taxes (state, county, city,
township), public/private partnerships, private development,
and grant opportunities.
6) The subcommittees review area organizations for funding and
volunteer opportunities and partnerships.
7) The subcommittees reviewed strategic education plans, relevant
research and developed design implications.
What We Have and What We Know
This planning process involved six meetings of the steering
committee, convening about every two weeks. The following facts
and ideas resulted from the meetings:
1) The Beverly Kingsley and Wilshire communities are in desperate
need of sites for the new neighborhood elementary schools.
2) This community is being supported by New Schools/ Better
Neighborhoods and the LAUSD in identifying sites suitable for
3) Cahuenga Elementary was built with a student capacity of
850+ students and now houses 1.350+ students.
4) In addition, 1,600+ students are bussed out the neighborhood
to distant schools.
5) The city plan for the Wilshire community calls for new schools,
new parks, bike paths, preservation of cultural assets, and
mixed use facilities.
6) Schools can be the center of community and communities can
be learning communities.
7) The July 1st, 2000 deadline must be met in order to leverage
state Proposition 1A Funding. Proposition BB is essential to
8) The School District originally proposed keeping the existing
Cahuenga School and adding another school of 1600 students.
9) The School District is now looking at adding two new schools
of 800 students each. Two sites have been proposed to the board
of education for further evaluation: one at 6th and Vermont
and the other at 1st and Vermont.
10) We realize that the funds to carry out this project are
limited and some middle ground will have to be worked out between
what we want and what is realistically possible.
Click here to see
a map that shows the type and location of some community resources.