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Searching for space at Burbank High

Molly Shore

School district officials are reconsidering a $6.1-million parking

structure planned for Burbank High School, even though money

earmarked for the project is available in the district’s building

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fund.

“Because the original cost escalated, staff was trying to be

creative and come up with alternative plans,” school board President

Richard Raad said Friday.

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Preliminary reports projected the cost at $5 million.

Savings that might be derived from one of the alternate plans

could be funneled back into the building fund to pay for additional

construction projects within the district, Raad said.

The original plan is a two-level parking facility with some

subterranean parking and rooftop tennis courts at the corner of

Delaware Road and Third Street. It has 281 parking spaces, with 43

more spaces on a lot next to the auto shop.

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At Thursday’s school board meeting, two alternatives were

presented. Each could be built for $3.3 million.

The first alternative calls for one floor of parking with 155

spaces and a lot accommodating 125 additional parking spaces. The lot

would encroach on open space, leaving enough room for an expanded

grass field and basketball courts. The tennis courts would remain on

top of the parking structure.

The second alternative keeps two levels of parking, but drops

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plans for the tennis courts. With this plan, 265 spaces would be

available in the structure and, like the original plan, another 43

spaces would be in a lot next to the auto shop.

By adopting either one of the two alternatives, the school would

have fewer parking spaces than the original proposal, Chief

Facilities and Development Supt. Ali Kiafar said.

To make up for the loss of parking spaces on campus, some people

would have to use street parking or park across the street in the

Media City Center parking garage or in Chuck E Cheese’s lot, Kiafar

said. Teachers and students parked in those lots during school

construction.

All of the options will provide more spaces than the school

originally had, Kiafar said.

The number of spaces allocated for teachers and students will not

be determined until after officials decide which plan to pursue.

Kiafar said if the board goes with the second option, a possible

solution is to move the school’s tennis program to the Burbank Tennis

Center, which is a few blocks from the school.

Using the city facility would cost $19,000 a year, not including

transportation costs, compared to $11,000 on campus.

Board member Elena Hubbell said she doesn’t want students to

travel to play tennis.


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