The school board voted to spend $7.2 million to renovate Laguna Beach High School, including a new swimming pool complex and new classroom buildings.
Built in the mid-1930s, the high school has long been in need of basic repairs, more classrooms and upgraded facilities. Planning to upgrade the high school to accommodate about 1,000 more students began three years ago.
The architectural plans include a $1.2-million swimming pool, two new buildings at a cost of $1.6 million, and a $656,000 renovation of the school's theater. Workers will also landscape and repave, improve the cafeteria and media services center and install new fencing and stairways.
Because the pool complex and theater renovation will cost $456,000 more than expected, the classroom buildings planned for three stories will be scaled down to two, according to the architect.
Allowing for inflation, total cost of the project is expected to reach $9.7 million by the time of completion sometime in 1991.
The district has $8.3 million available for the project, including $2 million in developer's fees and a $700,000 grant from the city of Laguna Beach. District officials hope to acquire additional funds from future developers' fees, interest from funds already held in reserve and other sources.
But at Tuesday's meeting, some audience members criticized the project as too elaborate. Others said it would obscure the ocean views of neighbors. Former school board member and current candidate Carl Schwarz asked the board to scale back the plan to include only one classroom. Schwarz said the 12 planned classrooms were "out of bounds" because enrollment at the high school this year has increased by only 14 students.
"To what extent do we need to put this kind of money into this project. I worry that this is monetary overkill," Schwarz said.