School district apology comes too late for Echo Park residents

KCET takes a look tonight at the long, sad saga of Site 9A, a two block stretch of Echo Park homes and businesses that have been demolished to build a new elementary school. The LAUSD has never wavered in its resolve to build the school despite a steep drop in enrollment, a lawsuit filed by residents and a current stand off with Councilman Eric Garcetti.

The segment on KCET’s “SoCal Connected” at 8 p.m. focuses on how the district continues to pursue its $20 billion building program, one of the nation’s largest public works projects, despite falling enrollment and looming budget cuts. There’s an interview with Elysian Heights Elementary School principal Sally Olguin who says a new campus is not needed in the area since her school and those nearby have plenty of empty seats.

Supt. Ramon Cortines also apologizes to residents over how they were treated by the school district as it demolished homes across the city, according to KCET producer Vicki Curry. That apology is probably of little comfort to the residents of the more than 50 Echo Park homes and apartments who, under the threat of eminent domain, were forced to leave the neighborhood behind before the bulldozers arrived.

Photo from Curbed LA

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