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 subcommittee tasks:

    1) The subcommittees catalogued existing facilities and other community resources.

    2) The subcommittees identified all organizations and existing and possible joint use programs.

    3) The subcommittees identified key social, economic and educational resources.

    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 opportunities.

    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 the neighborhoods.

    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 our success.

    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.