Roosevelt Middle renovations under way

SOUTH GLENDALE— Enter Lynn Marso's office and see what's in store for Roosevelt Middle School next year and beyond.

A map of the school grounds consumes much of the principal's shelf space, and she's quick to point out how renovations beginning this summer will open the grounds to more sports and consolidate classrooms on the eastern half of campus.

That's just for the 2010-11 school year. Before Open House in spring 2012, a new, two-story classroom building will open, and the campus's 16 bungalows will be a fading memory, Marso said.

"The bungalows are old and they need a lot maintenance, which can be difficult," she said. "It's been a long time coming. It's needed and we're very excited about the project and what it will bring to the school and the community."

New athletic space, including more field space and new basketball courts, will open before March 2011. There will also be a restroom facility for the community and a track made of crushed gravel, Marso said.

Roosevelt is among the many sites where construction is happening this summer, but it's uniquely funded, Chief Financial Officer Eva Lueck said.

Glendale Unified was one of the first to take out an application from state leaders for an overcrowding relief grant, she said

"Now we'll have more space for the kids to go out and have games and things and be able to exercise," Lueck said. "It was a new program and we were one of the first in line."

The most immediate change will be a reshuffling of campus grounds, Marso said. When school opens this autumn, the three bungalows in the center of campus will be gone. Students will have more space to congregate during lunch, and there'll be more room for outdoor activities, Marso said.

"It'll really unify the campus," she said. "I think there's going to be trees and benches and a [new] courtyard area."

As principal of Marshall Elementary School, Marso remembered how renovations there led to a surge of optimism in the school and surrounding communities.

"Any time a school has an opportunity to have upgrades, it produces a positive atmosphere and feelings," she said. "It'll be aesthetically beautiful, [and] it will create an atmosphere that is conducive to learning."

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