With little deliberation, the Los Angeles Unified School District board on Tuesday authorized its staffers to issue a notice of intent, calling for proposals from charter organizations to build a new school on two acres of the campus in Mar Vista.
"All we're doing is approving the intent to lease the land," said LAUSD board member Steve Zimmer, who represents the area. Zimmer was reiterating statements he made at a .
Issuing a notice of intent, which LAUSD staffers said they intend to do sometime this summer, is the first step toward putting a charter school on Walgrove's campus. If and when a proposal is selected, the LAUSD board will have another opportunity to vote, which will come with another round of public comment.
"We do not need another school," one Walgrove neighbor told the board at Tuesday's meeting. She suggested that a better use of the space would be to "create a safe zone for loading and unloading passengers."
Congestion along Walgrove Avenue was the primary complaint of most of the few speakers who attended the 1 p.m. meeting downtown. Four other neighbors registered complaints of people blocking their driveways, speeding away after dropping off passengers, and even parking in private driveways.
Some said the space rightfully belonged to Walgrove and should not be given away.
Sandi Wise, who lives nearby, noted that when the Lincoln Place Apartments along Elkgrove Avenue in Venice are fully occupied, the area will be supporting more traffic, and the magnet school starting at is expected to add 300 students to the area.
Currently, has 14 classrooms and about 150 students at Walgrove, through the program instated by Proposition 39.
"In this particular area, there has been incredible pressure on classroom space due to Prop. 39," Zimmer said. "There are not enough spaces to accommodate requests."
Twelve of OCS's classrooms are in outbuildings, which have to be removed at the end of the 2011-12 school year. In addition, charter school organization Green Dot is looking for space in Venice. The LAUSD briefly considered colocating Green Dot's new middle school at Westminster Avenue Elementary.
Sarah Reimers, co-president of the Friends of Walgrove booster club, said it was a "very innovative solution" to the space problem in the area.
"A great deal of stress and energy" has been spent on the colocation of OCS at Walgrove, Reimers said. "Parents at Walgrove are not concerned with losing two acres."