SOUTH-CENTRAL : Elementary School Construction to Begin

Faced with overcrowding at middle schools feeding into Jefferson and Fremont high schools, the Los Angeles Unified School District last week broke ground on the site for an elementary school at 56th Street near Slauson Avenue.

Construction of the school will begin in mid-October, with completion slated for July, 1996, district officials said. Funds for the $29-million school come from 1992 school construction bonds.

The school, temporarily named Jefferson New Middle School No. 1, will help ease campus density at Adams and Carver middle schools in the Jefferson cluster, and Bethune and Edison middle schools in the Fremont cluster.

"The schools in that area have been capping out kids for a long time," said Joyce Payton, director of the district's office of school utilization. "Even though the schools are (year-round), they don't have enough space. "

Many youngsters who live in the area have been bused to other schools, usually in the Westside and the San Fernando Valley, to alleviate overcrowding, Payton said.

At Bethune, the school district anticipates the student population to increase an additional 1,900 by the time the school is completed, said Lynn Roberts, the district's director of facility planning.

Jefferson New Middle School No. 1 will accommodate up to 2,900 seventh- through ninth-graders on a year-round schedule, Roberts said.

The 14.8-acre school will feature a three-story classroom building and a separate five-classroom shops building. There will be 51 general classrooms, with space reserved to build up to eight additional classrooms if needed.

The facilities will include two computer laboratories, 10 science classrooms and two rooms each for art, business education, home economics, music, drama and speech, and communications.

"Rather than building a single-story design, we went with the multistory building to avoid the displacement of businesses and people in the community," Roberts said.

In addition, the school will have a gymnasium, a multipurpose room with a kitchen and outdoor lunch area, and subterranean parking for approximately 150 vehicles.

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