King Middle School to get a bold, blue makeover

Thomas King02 PS-2

Courtesy Friends of King


LOS FELIZ — Painters will be busy this summer at Thomas Starr King Middle School as the entire school will be painted over in a bold blue palette.

The color was chosen to complement nearby buildings and John Marshall High School, which is currently undergoing a $2 million renovation, said Renae Plant, treasurer of Friends of King, a school support group. After previously agreeing to help fund the painting of only the front wall of the school, L.A. Unified agreed to provide more than $300,000 to paint the entire school after five months of negotiations with the school administration and Friends of King. About $30,000 of the project’s funding was raised by Friends of King and more than $70,000 will be provided by the school.

“We wanted to transform [King] from looking like a prison to a paradise,” Plant said. “We’ve gotten a lot of support from the community, it’s all really exciting.”

L.A. Unified has also agreed to provide funding for the renovation of King’s library, which is slated to coincide with the painting of the school. The renovation will include new floors, the re-staining of bookshelves and electrical upgrades. The details of the renovation remain to be worked out, but Friends of King already has $26,000 earmarked for the renovation and plans to use parent volunteers to help with the project, Plant said.

The projects are part of a larger beautification process that began after the transition of King to a full magnet school. The projects include  184 mural panels  that will cover the school’s chain link fence along Bates Avenue, Sunset Drive and Manzanita Street. Shepard Fairey, Kim West and Isaac Rubentstein are some of the artists confirmed to create some of the mural panels.

Lucy Guanuna has reported on a variety of issues, including business, education and social justice movements in her native Los Angeles. Her work has been published in the Daily Sundial, L.A. Activist, and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.


  1. horrible idea. NEVER paint brick

  2. Sorry but it costs 300,000 to paint the school? If I was a parent there I would want to see a breakdown of that budget… Wow! And what a horrible color! Looks like a battleship or a prison. The Klingk!

  3. But it will coordinate with the Frost Chaddock project on Sunset!

  4. That was my school… looks hideous blue. 🙁

  5. Did they consider getting professional color consultation from any of the architectural designers who share the same street? It doesn’t look like it…….

    Ones I can think of off of the top of my head that they could have engaged include Michael Lehrer, Barbara Bestor, Michael Maltzen, Oyler Wu Collaborators…..Gosh there is even Thomas Robertson of Ripple Design on the same street!

  6. Guys come on!! Relax with the negative comments! People are trying to do a good thing here. To give a fresh feeling to a tired building. Fill glass half full it feels so much better than the latter!

  7. Very tasteful color, awesome choice.

    From what I’m hearing this is the up and coming go-to middle school in this part of town. Keep up the good work, Friends of King!

  8. Are you people for real? You’re going to complain about changing a shit orange color to something that blends in better with the area and makes the students feel proud. Give me a break! Find something better to piss and moan about. Many people have spent countless hours of donated time to better our schools and community! Ask yourself this, what have you done to better your neighborhood????

  9. GREAT PEOPLE talk about IDEAS (and actually get SH*T done when no-one else is doing it)
    SMALL PEOPLE talk about OTHER PEOPLE (normally talking trash, not knowing facts and behind a computer v’s getting out their in the community and making positive change.


  10. @Juan: Have to agree. The relevant concept is bike shedding (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bikeshedding). Because everyone can understand it, everyone has an opinion.

    Problem is, even if Barbara Bestor had blessed the design, they’d still be complaining.

    • We use the term Tall Poppy Syndrome in Oz…

      The tall poppy syndrome is a pejorative term primarily used in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and other Anglosphere nations to describe a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticised because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.

      Australia and New Zealand’s usage of the term has evolved and is not uniformly negative. In Australia, a long history of “underdog” culture and profound respect for humility in contrast to that of Australia’s English feudal heritage results in a different understanding of “tall poppy syndrome”.

  11. @pretty whiny:
    I could care less if Bestor/Gehry or Ghandi picked the color becuase neither of them are in the trenches with the parents,kids and volunteers! This is an improvement for everyone except the NIMBY complainers who sit on their asses and type BS!

    • Hiding behind fake names online on top of it…what is “armpit hair” anyway? You want to talk trash then this stuff needs to be accounted for…same as YELP quite frankly…it’s so easy to throw this out there when you are hiding behind an alias.

  12. King is my former middle school and quite frankly there’s not much to work with. It’s not some architectural gem like Marshall, A new paint job is an improvement, Period. Considering the recent demographic shift, I’m just grateful that they didn’t choose black bean, electric purple, coral pink, or some other eccentric self-indulgent choice to “elevate” the rest of us(?). Anyway, I look forward to admiring the fresh coat of marina blue(?) when they’re done. Looks sharp to me!

  13. Juan and Jodie – you’re absolutely right and I apologize for my Frost Chaddock crack.

  14. My daughter attends King and LOVES the color palette. It fits in with the surrounding community and much hard work has gone into all of this. The efforts of everyone involved and the effect its going to have on the student and community blow all of this negativity out of the water. A community school that was once feared is now back on the map. BOOM! Step up and make a contribution to our community we’d all love your support!

  15. Come and clean toilets at King with me and other parent volunteers at 10am every Wednesday we are always there and we always need great people with great attitude to make a change.. And yes I am also at Friends of King beautification to help “paint for King” project turn to chitty chat into a reality.. Paint for King is coming to you rain or shine summer 2015!..

    U can do it too, or you can wait another decade until the next bus to jump in comes your way.. I am wasting no more time!


  16. Kudos to everyone involved. And Livinio Stuyck – I applaud the job the parents do cleaning the bathrooms at King, but it’s absolutely tragic that LAUSD does not properly fund custodial services at the school.

  17. I’m not really sure why anyone would want LAUSD wasting taxpayers money consulting local starchitects about what color to paint a school.

    It’s not exactly rocket science… and I imagine the local press would have a field day with that.

  18. Chale homes .. This used to b my school ese
    Now the huerros move in , but guess wha .. It’s still a dump homie.. Hahaha

  19. I am really glad to hear that King will be getting a facelift this summer. I’ve lived by this school on and off for many years and I am really impressed by all the positive changes that have come to King recently. I have been walking around the school for years with my dogs and can wholeheartedly say that the appearance has gradually improved and the support of the student’s parents and the community in general is refreshing. I feel a greater sense of pride by the neighborhood towards King and hope that the school continues to flourish in the years to come!

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *