Construction is set to begin on Franklin Avenue Elementary School’s “Classroom Replacement Project” by the end of the year after first gaining approval from the Board of Education in November of 2017. The Los Angeles United School District promises that significant improvements to the school will be made, though parents are worried that it will also cause major disruptions for students. 

Last week, school officials held a Zoom meeting to discuss project logistics and take questions, the details of which are summarized below. 


The Classroom Replacement Project is a substantial endeavor that includes:

  • New Classroom Building: A modern classroom building with 13 classrooms, support spaces, and underground parking, designed to accommodate the growing student body.

  • Food Services Building: A new facility dedicated to providing nourishing meals for students.

  • Retaining Wall Replacement: The replacement of retaining walls along the east and south sides of the site, along with the establishment of a new electrical services yard.

  • Infrastructure and IT Upgrades: Enhancements to the school's infrastructure and information technology network convergence system to create a better learning environment.

  • Site Enhancements: Extensive site work, including landscaping, hardscape improvements, shade shelters, playground area upgrades with cool-coating for heat reduction, improved ADA accessibility, and additional tree planting.


With an approved budget of $60 million, the project is set to be completed in the third quarter of 2027. Nick Gillock, the LAUSD Designer, and Raymond Esparza, the Construction Manager, will be overseeing the project which will be executed in six phases.

  • Phase 1 (Q4 2023): Mobilization and Site Logistic Planning.

  • Phase 2 (Q1 - Q2 2024): Removal of Interim Housing and Construction of Retaining Wall.

  • Phase 3 (Q3 2024 - Q1 2026): Construct New Classroom Building and Utility Connection.

  • Phase 4 (Q1-Q2 2026): Move to New Classroom Building and Construct Upper Playground.

  • Phase 5 (Q2 2026 - Q1 2027): Construct New Food Services Building.

  • Phase 6 (Q1 - Q3 2027): Demolish the Existing Food Service Building and Build the New Trash Enclosure.


Per Los Angeles City guidelines, construction can take place Monday to Friday from 7 AM to 9 PM, and Saturday from 8 AM to 6 PM, however, active construction will mainly take place from 7 AM to 3 PM. 

When pressed on why work would take place during school hours, officials offered several reasons why after-hours construction wasn’t feasible. For one, construction material vendors will only make deliveries during the day, and secondly, these are the typical hours for union construction, so night work would result in a 20-40% cost increase.

They also reasoned that sticking to a regular daytime schedule would allow for the project to be executed in four years–apparently the fastest possible time frame for completion. Typically, it’s harder to find builders for after-hours construction and progress tends to be less efficient compared to daytime work.

School officials say they will try to mitigate disruption whenever possible. One plan for this is to schedule deliveries around student pick-off and drop-off, and by making efforts to complete some phases of construction during school breaks. 

However, there is already a foreseeable disruption that officials said they will not address. Though street parking along Hoover will be taken up by construction vehicles, no alternative street parking will be provided to compensate for it, which could cause some inconveniences to neighbors, as well as Franklin Ave Elementary families, especially during school functions.


An active construction zone and an influx of outside employees working on the project bring potential safety risks that parents are obviously concerned about–especially since work will take place during school hours. During the Zoom meeting, school officials reported the following measures will be taken to ensure student safety:

  • Construction areas will be fenced off.

  • Construction parking will be off-site or in designated areas.

  • Thorough background checks and identification requirements for construction workers.

  • Continuous monitoring of work conditions by LAUSD Safety Officers.

  • Close communication with the school Principal and Community Relations committee to address concerns.

  • Safe removal of materials containing lead, asbestos, and PCB, following strict safety protocols.

  • Abatement work will be performed by LAUSD prequalified and specialized licensed contractors, monitored by an independent third-party environmental consultant, and adhering to all relevant safety guidelines.


During the meeting, parents voiced their concerns about this project, a major one being the school playground will be closed during construction. Missing out on outdoor play is a huge loss for elementary school students, yet school officials could only offer that it will “do its best” to provide alternative options.

Even if construction is completed on time, most students will have already graduated by then. After sacrificing their elementary school experience, current students won’t get to enjoy the new facilities. 

More concerns will surely present themselves as construction begins on the project. LAUSD is committed to addressing faculty, family, and neighbors' concerns, and is dedicated to ensuring the Classroom Replacement Project won’t end up being an investment in the education of future students at the expense of current ones.

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