A John Burroughs High School teacher and the school’s booster club
president claim construction and modernization projects at crosstown
rival Burbank High School have received preferential treatment.
According to Burroughs English teacher Jill Sullivan, the
8,500-square- foot library at Burbank High serves 2,400 students,
while the 5,600-square- foot Burroughs library serves 2,300 students.
“The teachers at Burroughs have been called whining ingrates,”
Sullivan said. “We are overjoyed to teach in the comfort of a new
climate-controlled school ... but our comfort level is not what is
important. A school’s function is to enable, and at best, enhance,
Booster club President Gary Stevens has requested that school
board members take immediate action on change order items for
Burroughs’ performing arts department and auditorium.
Many of the items should have been included in the original scope
of the project, Stevens said, adding that the requests have fallen on
“The John Burroughs High School auditorium is the largest indoor
theater in Burbank,” Stevens said. “If it had modern computerized
lighting and a computerized sound system, it could be rented out and
Stevens, a graduate of Burbank High, has seven nephews attending
“I’m not upset at what they’ve gotten,” he said. “I’m upset at
what we haven’t gotten.”
Stevens also questions the justification for building a
76,000-square-foot gym at Burbank High and a 54,000-square-foot gym
Ali Kiafar, chief facilities and development superintendent for
the district, downplayed the claims, pointing out that Burroughs has
two gyms, including one with a mezzanine.
“One of the things we tried to do from day one is to make things
as equitable as possible,” Kiafar said. “But no two schools can be
exactly the same.”
Former school board member Elena Hubbell, a Burroughs graduate,
was a member of the high school design committee along with fellow
Burroughs alumna and board member Connie Lackey.
“Being on the design committee, there’s no way we would ever have
slighted Burroughs,” Hubbell said.