The steel skeleton of Central Regional Elementary School #14 has risen quickly on a vast two-block site that was scraped clean of more than 50 Echo Park homes and apartments. L.A. Unified, which waged a battle with residents and several neighborhood groups over the site,* had long claimed it needed to build the 875-seat campus to reduce overcrowding at nearby public schools. That does not seem to be a problem anymore, and the district has put the $68 million Echo Park school – scheduled to open in the fall of 2011- up for grabs for others to operate.
CRES #14, located southwest of Alvarado Street and Sunset Boulevard, is one of 9 new campuses that L.A. Unified is making available to private charter school operators, groups of teachers and other organizations as part of its School Choice program. Offers have been submitted by 129 groups to operate the new schools, L.A. Unified announced earlier this month. Seven suitors submitted letters of intent to operate the Echo Park school. The bidders ranged from Gabriella Charter School, which currently occupies part of the nearby Logan Street School, to the Los Angeles teachers’ union. The applicants seeking the school are expected to make presentations to the public in the coming months before the school board decides who gets the school. That decision is expected to be made next February.
Here’s a list of the groups bidding for CRES #14
- Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
- Extera Public Schools
- Gabriella Axelrad Educational Foundation/Gabriella Charter
- Local District 4
- United Teachers Los Angeles
- Value Schools
- Youth Policy Institute
* One of those groups was the Echo Park Historical Society. The Eastsider is a society board member