Arts high school
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L.A. Unified’s twisted new art project

Arts high school
This rendering shows what the finished Central Los Angeles High School No. 9 should look like. The $230-million project is slated for completion this fall and the school will open in the fall of 2009. ()
Arts high school
A worker uses a saw on a metal building support inside the theater at the downtown L.A. campus. The school is being constructed on historic Fort Moore Hill, site of the old L.A. Unified School District headquarters on Grand Avenue at Cesar Chavez Boulevard. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Arts high school
Construction workers Tuesday drive a cart past the library building, which is adorned with metal panels. The district hired an Austrian architectural firm to design the building. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Arts high school
The “helix” tower rises 140 feet above the school’s 950-seat performing arts theater, and hovers over the 101 Freeway. “It’s a symbol for dynamic thinking,” said architect Karolin Schmidbaur. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Arts high school
Construction continues on a skylight inside the library. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Arts high school
The tower is seen from the Grand Avenue bridge of the 101 Freeway. The structure was a mystery to several passersby, including Kelly Charles, who asked: “What is it? A roller coaster?” (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Arts high school
In 2003, The Times reported that philanthropist Eli Broad had lobbied L.A. Unified officials to “redesign the Grand Avenue campus into an elaborate visual and performing arts school.” A more conventional campus would have saved taxpayers about $100 million. (Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times)
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