Lead Story West Edition

Airport funds new playground, classrooms at Inglewood school

By Dennis J. Freeman

Contributing Writer

INGLEWOOD — Union contracts and budget concerns were put aside for the day May 17 in the Inglewood Unified School District.

District officials along with officials from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and students and staff at Beulah Payne Elementary School celebrated a new dawning at the school.

With the district securing $1.1 million in funding from LAWA, the school is getting an overhaul with a new playground, added classrooms and insulation devices that will allow students to have a better learning experience.

The school sits in the direct path of LAX, where incoming and outgoing planes roar by on their way out of town or preparing to land. The funding covers 105 acoustically rated windows, 23 sound-proof doors, new heating and air conditioning systems, and added insulated padding in windows and doors.

The construction project was enough to call for a ceremonial groundbreaking event at the school as state Administrator Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana, district Communications Director Jaqueline Sanderling, school board members and LAWA Environmental Programs Group Director Kendrick Okuda greeted students and broke ground on the new playground.

“It’s going to give us an opportunity to really improve our classroom environment for our students, so we can continue to focus on teaching and learning,” Melendez de Santa Ana said. “This money that comes from LAWA is going to allow us to work on our windows, our air conditioning, and upgrade many things, in addition to the work we’re already going to do as part of Measure GG. We’re excited about the opportunity the LAWA funds provide us to mitigate aircraft noise in our facilities and our classroom environment.”

The Beulah Payne Elementary School construction project will take approximately one year to complete. The school will remain open as the work ise completed in phases.

The school district also will be moving forward with additional LAWA-funded projects at Monroe Middle School, Morningside High School and Oak Street Elementary.