Air Conditioning Backed for 8 Southeast Schools

Times Staff Writer

A compromise benefiting eight Southeast-area schools in the Los Angeles school district's air-conditioning plan for year-round campuses has been approved by the board's Building Committee.

The Southeast-area campuses are among 14 schools identified in a district staff report as those that have been operating the longest as year-round facilities and still lacking air conditioning in many classrooms. Under the change adopted by the Building Committee, they will receive priority for preliminary design work over 17 other schools located in the San Fernando Valley and the central city that have operated year-round for a shorter time.

Low on Priority List

The eight Southeast schools are Corona Avenue and Woodlawn Avenue in Bell; Loma Vista Avenue in Maywood; Miles Avenue, Gage Junior High and Nimitz Junior High in Huntington Park; South Gate Junior High in South Gate, and Graham School in Los Angeles. They were placed on year-round schedules between 1979 and 1980 but, under the previous plan, were lower on the priority list than some schools that went year-round as many as four years later.

Plans for cooling the oldest year-round classrooms will be drawn up during the coming school year, said Byron Kimball, who oversees district building and maintenance. The compromise does not affect the district's goal of air conditioning all year-round classrooms by 1987, he added.

Prompted by Criticism

The change was made in response to criticism from committee member Jackie Goldberg, who said that the $6.2 million the district will spend on air conditioning this year should be used primarily to finish cooling by next summer the campuses that have been on year-round schedules the longest.

According to a district staff estimate, completely air conditioning those schools would cost $5.5 million.

But East Valley representative Roberta Weintraub, also a member of the Building Committee, argued that Goldberg's proposal would cause too much disruption. Building Committee Chairman Larry Gonzalez agreed with Weintraub, saying that the district was "too far into the plan" to make extensive changes now.

Although she agreed to it, Goldberg said she was dissatisfied with the compromise because it meant the schools that have been operating the longest as year-round facilities will face another summer with little more than portable fans for relief.

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