Unprecedented Victory Budget Approval of $250 Million to Provide Much-Needed Facilities for Local Students Announcement was Made at Special Press Conference in Lynwood Today
LYNWOOD, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#LynwoodHighSchool–After months of advocating for the academic success of current and future Lynwood students, Lynwood Unified School District leaders confirmed $250 million in financial support to restore the fallen Lynwood High School Imperial Campus and make Lynwood Unified School District whole again, all thanks to the attention and advocacy of local state legislators. At today’s press conference, organized by Lynwood representatives and including the presence of California’s deputy superintendent of public instruction, state legislators and congressmembers, the community of Lynwood celebrated this victory, which will bring back an essential high school campus that is desperately needed by Lynwood’s youth. These approved funds will help rebuild and fully restore a high-quality campus for the Lynwood community as well as address the consequential damages to the district.
Over the past few months, school district leadership led by Mr. Alfonso Morales, school board president; Ms. Maria Lopez, Lynwood Unified School board member; Dr. Gudiel Crosthwaite, superintendent; Gregory Fromm, assistant superintendent business services; and Jahmal Corner, public information officer, have held multiple meetings with the offices of three senators and seven assembly members in Sacramento to champion action following construction failures that led to a building collapse back in June 2020.
As a result of the district’s efforts and collaboration with state legislators, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, along with Assemblymember Mike Gipson and Senator Lena Gonzalez, set aside $250 million to Lynwood Unified School District, confirming their commitment to serve thousands of students in Lynwood who are in desperate need of an adequate campus to succeed academically.
«Lynwood had a huge need due to a catastrophic circumstance,» said Speaker Rendon. «I’m extremely happy that we had the opportunity to provide funding to fill that need. Any way that you look at it, the students at Lynwood schools would be the ones to suffer if the state had not stepped in. I’m grateful that I could play an important role in budgeting so we could make sure those students will have a high-quality facility in the future.»
«This is a huge victory for the students and families of Lynwood. When tragedy struck and the building collapsed at Lynwood High School Imperial Campus, faculty, staff, administrators, school board members and the community acted quickly to make facilities available for learning,» said Assemblymember Gipson. «I was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Speaker Rendon, my legislative colleagues and the leaders of Lynwood Unified School District who successfully advocated for this key allocation to restore the educational environment that our students deserve. It was the right thing to do, and I am pleased we got it done.»
«I am thrilled to share that the state will help directly fund the reconstruction of Lynwood High School. The community of Lynwood has suffered tremendously with the loss of the Lynwood High School campus, and these students deserve immediate and adequate school facilities that ensure a safe, healthy and welcoming environment for learning. I stand firmly alongside our Lynwood community, educators and students in advocating for this unique financial commitment; and I look forward to seeing this project come to fruition as soon as possible,» said Senator Gonzalez.
“Lynwood Unified will celebrate a return to the castle, thanks to a united effort by our state representatives. The LUSD board traveled to our state capital and rang the bell for help following an internal investigation, and the state of California responded,” said Lynwood Unified School Board President Alfonso Morales, Esq.
“We are incredibly grateful for the urgent attention and leadership displayed by our elected officials who are paving the way for us to secure the educational environment Lynwood students deserve,» Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. «We know that our leaders believe, as we do, that all students deserve an equitable education that should never be compromised by surroundings. We thank them for being allies in doing right by our students.»
The 2020 building collapse, which fortunately happened during pandemic school closure and did not physically harm anyone, occurred due to major construction and structural shortcuts as per DSA findings following the incident—discovered during an inspection of the state-built 24-year-old campus.
The fallout has left a deep impact on the community at large. With buildings at Lynwood High School campus deemed unsafe, the district quickly enabled an alternate temporary site for the high school this past August. The Lynwood Middle School campus on Bullis Road was repurposed and outfitted with 47 temporary classrooms to accommodate approximately 1,900 high school students. This change triggered the relocation of middle and elementary school students, which resulted in the loss of over 400 students who did not re-enroll this school year.
From a financial perspective, cleanup, inspections and the emergency updates to multiple campuses took vital funds away from other needed improvements at schools throughout the district. “We are confident that the approved budget will help us create the change we need at our schools,” said Gregory Fromm, LUSD assistant superintendent of business services. “We look forward to receiving these funds to start construction immediately.”
Tania Kislinger/Jahmal Corner