Winter 2005 Newsletter
NSBN serves as a catalyst and third-party intermediary to front-fund, convene, and manage collaborative, stakeholder master planning of smaller, joint-use and community-centered schools in Los Angeles County and throughout California. With funding from First 5 LA and others, NSBN seeks to showcase for state and local decisison-makers the civic and educational value of leveraging over $10 billion of state and local facility bond proceeds with park, library, UPK, philanthropic and housing funds to build not only better schools but healthier neighborhoods. Here are some NSBN project highlights:
Los Angeles Unified - Westlake
The Westlake community, just west of downtown L.A., is celebrating the completion of a successful collaborative master planning effort spearheaded by NSBN. Instead of just settling for a new Primary Center for grades K-2, the community will have additional open space, affordable housing, a Boys & Girls Club and an early education center. Parents and community stakeholders participated in the more than six-month process which culminated in a plan whose major components were adopted by LA Unified School District. Construction will begin soon on this model project.
NSBN lead a collaborative master planning process for an expansion of Los Cerritos Elementary School in the City of Paramount. It began with a press conference which brought together L.A.County Supervisor Don Knabe, Paramount Mayor Gene Daniels, Paramount Unified School District Board President Sonya Cuellar, Superintendent of Schools Jay Wilbur, NSBN's Project Manager Tomas Duran, Gateway Cities Partnership's Richard Hollingsworth, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Executive Director Joe Edmiston, and the Director of the L.A. County Health Department Jonathan Fielding, parents and community members to announce the NSBN effort. Two themes wove through comments from all speakers. First, the effort would not have been undertaken if it had not been for the already strong working relationship between the schools and the city. Second, creating joint-use schools as centers of the community has a positive impact on the health, welfare and quality of life of a neighborhood. The collaborative team then explored what was needed in the community and developed a master plan that includes preschool, a new park and plans for a community center.
The Lawndale Elementary School District and Richstone Family Services signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NSBN to embark on the master planning of an expansion of space at Kit Carson Elementary School. The school is adjacent to a park and another elementary school. The collaborative team then explored joint-use site planning ideas which included early childhood education space, a family resource center, and better linkages between the park and school. In addition, the team, with the support of NSBN and Trust for Public Lands, submitted a Prop 40 application to support improvements to community use of the park. The School District is now considering a bond measure to build the adopted master plan.
The Pasadena Unified School District and the City of Pasadena have signed a Letter of Intent with NSBN to assist the two entities in exploring joint-use opportunities for a Primary Center that the School District hopes to site within the next year in the Northwest area of Pasadena. Currently, the majority of children living in this area are bused to schools outside of their neighborhood. NSBN will also assist in helping elected representatives and staff design a community engagement process for site selection. The School District and City had a Joint Meeting in February 2004 to address the needs of children and youth in Pasadena.
Santa Monica Blvd Community Charter School
The Santa Monica Boulevard School, now a charter school within the LAUSD, has been an integral part of its Hollywood neighborhood since 1910, evolving with the changing populations. The school is beginning to plan and raise funds for a campus building project, and NSBN is working with administrators and community stakeholders to bring new services and facilities for the community into the project.
Boyle Heights- East LA High School
In the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights, the community's need for land for a new school and MTA station appeared to endanger an important community pre-shool, until the parties, with the support of Councilman Villaraigosa's office and the assistance of NSBN, worked out a collaborative solution. With the support of LAUSD Board of Education President Jose Huizar; Jim Conn, an urban strategist with United Methodist Ministries; and Eduardo Garcia of Plaza Community Center, a signed MOU with NSBN has allowed collaborative community planning led by Barrio Planners to begin.
Want everyone to know about your joint-use project?
Send updates to Director, Attn: Joint-Use, New Schools, Better Neighborhoods, 811 W. Seventh
Street, Suite 900, Los Angeles, CA 90017.