Letter: FSHA has earned the right to upgrade

I’ve lived in the Crescenta Valley for almost 30 years, and during that time, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy has been a jewel in our community. Although I have no connection to the school, I have always held them in high esteem and I support their efforts to modernize their campus.

After 80 years of being in the neighborhood, FSHA wants to update its facilities with state-of-the-art classrooms, improved parking and a modern performance space. And the school’s request to increase enrollment by a nominal 10% so that a few more girls in our community can receive this wonderful high school education is something we should all champion.

The school has patiently and graciously solicited feedback from the neighbors about their plans. We’ve seen FSHA respond to concerns by voluntarily creating and implementing traffic management plans that, by all accounts, seem to be working.

Let’s put this in perspective. Nobody likes it when neighbors embark on a renovation project. But the school was there before any of them moved in, and it has long endured its neighbors remodeling their homes. We’ve had occasion to be in the neighborhood and have encountered cement trucks and dumpsters blocking the roads, sometimes on blind curves. This seems far more dangerous than trucks that would be parked at the top of the hill during construction at FSHA. Now that it’s time for FSHA to remodel, we should support them in their efforts.

I live half a block from a middle school. I dread the day they decide to renovate. But my bigger fear would be if they let the school fall into disrepair. What would we be left with then? An eyesore that prospective students would no longer find appealing? Some other development project taking its place? Falling property values?

In my opinion, this is about the future of educational institutions in our communities. We boast about having some of the best schools in the state and the nation. The City Council and community should support these schools when they try to improve their campuses. We want and expect our schools to provide a high-quality educational experience, so let’s do our part to support them in their efforts to improve and modernize.

Patricia Smith
La Crescenta

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