The LAUSD may be a letdown when it comes to graduation requirements, but it has made impressive strides in the construction of new schools. Since 1997 and the launch of its $19.2 billion plan to both modernize existing school campuses and build new ones, the district has overseen the construction of more than 500 school facilities in L.A. County.
In addition to reducing overcrowding and fostering a more uplifting academic atmosphere, these schools have reshaped the physical space of their neighborhoods, a change perhaps best seen from above. Don’t have a private helicopter and a time machine? Don’t worry—apartment search website RENTCafé put together a series of before/after aerial photos showing how eight schools have reshaped their corners of Los Angeles in the past decade.
1. In 2012, the Watts Learning Center Charter Middle School got its own brand new campus right next door to Nickerson Gardens, the the nation’s largest public housing development.
2. Dr. Maya Angelou Community High School, named for the inspiring poet and activist, opened in South Park in 2011.
3. East Valley Senior High in North Hollywood opened in 2006.
4-6. On the left in this image is the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex in Downtown, which opened in 2006. In the middle is 2008’s Edward R. Roybal Learning Center in West Lake, and on the right is the architecturally ambitious Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts—you know, the one with the silver space-tower you pass on the 101—which opened in 2009.
7. Augustus F. Hawkins High School was completed in the Vermont Neighborhood of South L.A in 2012.
8. San Pedro Senior High was built in 2012 on land owned by the LAUSD in Fort MacArthur, the one-time U.S. Army post in San Pedro that now functions primarily as a museum.