Representatives of the Department of General Services and the Office of Public School Construction will join local officials in a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 5 to celebrate the opening of the Jaime Escalante Auditorium and Memorial Plaza, a new administration building, and new classroom buildings.
The additional classrooms provide capacity for up to 513 students, and all students on the campus will be able to enjoy the new auditorium and plaza. The construction of the facilities bolstered the local economy through the creation of jobs and the purchase of building materials.
Garfield High School has a long and rich history. Founded in 1925 in East Los Angeles, the high school was made famous by the film Stand and Deliver about math teacher Jaime Escalante, for whom the new auditorium is named.
Additionally, Garfield was one of the schools involved in the 1969 student protests known as the “East L.A. walkouts” in which Mexican-American students protested unequal educational conditions.
Throughout the school’s history, many famous and influential individuals have graced the campus halls. Noted alumni include former world champion and gold medal winning boxer Oscar De La Hoya, members of the Grammy-winning band Los Lobos, and California State University, Sacramento President Alexander Gonzalez.
The school construction project received approximately $14.8 million in state funding from the State Allocation Board’s (SAB) Overcrowding Relief Grant (ORG) and Career Technical Education Facilities Programs (CTEFP) for the construction of 19 classrooms, administration, and auditorium facilities. The state funds included a High Performance Incentive (HPI) grant of $599,000. HPI is a supplemental grant available on projects with high performance attributes, such as energy efficiency, water conservation, and other sustainable building elements.
The ORG portion of the project removed portable classrooms at three nearby campuses to build 16 permanent classrooms on the Garfield High School site. The project will decrease pupil density at the sites while creating space for outdoor activities, green spaces and play areas. The ORG provides state funds on a 50/50 state and local sharing basis to reduce the number of portable classrooms on overcrowded school sites and replace them with permanent classrooms.
The CTEFP portion of the project included the construction of three classrooms within the arts, media and entertainment sector. The classrooms will be primarily used for filmmaking, broadcast journalism and dance classes. The CTEFP program provides state funds on a 50/50 state and local sharing basis for the construction of new facilities or reconfiguration of existing facilities to integrate career technical education programs into comprehensive high schools.
OPSC serves as staff to the SAB and implements and administers a $35 billion voter-approved school facilities construction program.