Edward R. Roybal Learning Center in the Los Angeles Unified School District opened last fall. Unlike typical education construction projects, this school has been in the making for 23 years. The school's original construction was halted in 1999 after the discovery of underground methane gases and again in 2002 after the discovery of a seismic fault line. Since a new architect took over the project in 2003, it has transformed into a learning environment that will serve the community well into the future.
Set on a 25-acre campus in downtown Los Angeles, the school can serve up to 2,800 students in grades 9 to 12. The project includes about 100,000 square feet of new construction, including a 500-seat classroom building or shared-learning facility, library, auditorium, music and drama classrooms, and food services. About 72,808 square feet of classrooms and 299,584 square feet of gym and parking space were renovated in the existing buildings, which were converted into six 500-seat academies. Two unfinished structures were demolished, an earthquake fault setback was established, and a complex between-slab methane ventilation system was integrated. In addition, outdoor courtyards and an adjacent 10-acre community park were added.
The architect is WWCOT (Santa Monica, Calif.).