EDUCATION : School Districts : Funds Diverted to Build 5 High School Science Labs

The Long Beach Unified School District board has approved an agreement to divert funds from renovation of four elementary schools and four middle schools to help pay for additional high school science facilities.

The project exchange was negotiated last month with the State Allocation Board after the district received state grants to build only three of five needed high school science buildings. The buildings, one at each district high school, are needed to update science facilities and to add class space for 3,250 additional students, Deputy Supt. Ron Bennett said.

To get the other two science buildings, the district traded state grant money awarded to repair and modernize four elementary schools and four middle schools. The renovation was important, but not as vital as getting increased class space, Bennett said.

Even with the new buildings, the rapidly growing district of 71,000 students will only have enough room for its high school students through about 1995, he said. Construction of the science buildings will begin shortly, and all five are due to be completed by September, 1993.

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