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The design of L.A. Unified's new arts high school is convoluted and costly
LA Times ^ | 5/4/08 | Steve Lopez

Posted on 05/04/2008 4:21:20 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

What is it?" Kelly Charles asked as he walked to his job as a custodian in downtown Los Angeles and gazed up at a rather odd construction project. "A roller coaster?"

As I wandered the neighborhood, other guesses were:

A ski jump.

A toboggan run.

A water slide.

What's got everyone talking is the odd-looking tower that rises 140 feet above the 101 Freeway, directly across from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The futuristic metallic edifice, with a wraparound spiral Dr. Seuss would love, is not part of a theme park. It is the signature adornment on a new arts-oriented public high school that will cost roughly $230 million.

That's far more than the going rate for a more conventional school, but district officials argue that they already owned the site of the former L.A. Unified headquarters. Sure, but aren't these tough times for public schools? Aren't school districts facing huge cuts? Aren't many aging schools in disrepair?

You have to wonder how this will sit with parents who are being asked to contribute several hundred dollars per student to cover programs and staff members that tax dollars used to fund.

David Tokofsky, a former school board member, said he isn't opposed to a bit of a flair on an arts-oriented campus. But given all the budget problems -- not to mention the flailing administration of L.A. Supt. and Navy Adm. David L. Brewer -- the project "just looks like an absurdity," in Tokofsky's words.

Personally, I thought the big log flume was the latest improvement on the disastrous employee payroll system in L.A. Unified. Weekly pay could be sent down the chutes to teachers below, and whatever cash doesn't blow over Chinatown or fly into Cardinal Roger M. Mahony's belfry could be pocketed by teachers.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; convoluted; costly; design; highschool; lausd

1 posted on 05/04/2008 4:21:20 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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What can ya say 8-?

It’s Los Angeles, folks.

FantasyLand.


2 posted on 05/04/2008 4:26:48 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... Home at last, Thank God almighty I am home at last!)
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To: NormsRevenge
It is the signature adornment on a new arts-oriented public high school that will cost roughly $230 million.

"art oriented" high school. What is that?

3 posted on 05/04/2008 4:27:49 PM PDT by umgud (this tagline is an excerpt)
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To: umgud

One that costs 230 million dollars. This way, they don’t have to buy books and paper and other stuff.


4 posted on 05/04/2008 4:31:29 PM PDT by ecomcon
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To: NormsRevenge
The "helix" tower rises 140 feet above the school's 950-seat performing arts theater, and hovers over the 101 Freeway. "It's a symbol for dynamic thinking," said architect Karolin Schmidbaur.

ROTFLOL!!!

5 posted on 05/04/2008 4:32:31 PM PDT by Fox_Mulder77 (McCain's FR tag: McLlort)
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To: NormsRevenge

$230 million for a high school for losers and street performance artists? Sheesh!


6 posted on 05/04/2008 4:32:54 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ("Don't touch that thing")
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To: NormsRevenge

Folks; A quarter of a billion dollars

7 posted on 05/04/2008 4:35:25 PM PDT by Popman (Typical bitter white male clinging to my religion and guns......................)
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To: Popman
The Belmont Learning Center only a couple of miles away was abandoned when costs hit $250,000,000. It started at about $70,000,000.

The LA school board will never, ever learn.

8 posted on 05/04/2008 4:39:58 PM PDT by 17th Miss Regt
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To: NormsRevenge

Oh!

I was wondering how somebody got permission to put up a water slide across the freeway from Our Lady of Angels Cathedral.


9 posted on 05/04/2008 4:41:21 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: 17th Miss Regt
It started at about $70,000,000.

In 1975, the tri-county area of N.J where I lived build a brand new state of the art high school for $3 million, which we thought was a astounding amount of money

10 posted on 05/04/2008 4:44:46 PM PDT by Popman (Typical bitter white male clinging to my religion and guns......................)
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To: 17th Miss Regt

Nah....it’s the voters who will never learn. The “Board” should be run out of town on a rail.


11 posted on 05/04/2008 4:49:17 PM PDT by goodnesswins (20 is the new 10)
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To: BenLurkin

We need to get ourselves some of that fancy culture stuff.
Us bitter low-lifes in flyover country just don’t understand.

It’s a symbol for dynamic thinking,” said architect Karolin Schmidbaur.


12 posted on 05/04/2008 4:52:00 PM PDT by Selmore (If your gonna take the hill, take the hill.)
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To: Popman

It looks like it was built from a bunch of miscellaneous ship pieces,, a disjointed mess.

Very symbolic of the state’s Gubamint and its leaders these days..


13 posted on 05/04/2008 4:54:35 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... Home at last, Thank God almighty I am home at last!)
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To: NormsRevenge

It’s for us English Learners.


14 posted on 05/04/2008 4:55:00 PM PDT by Haddit (A Hunter Conservative)
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To: Selmore
It’s a symbol for dynamic thinking,” said architect Karolin Schmidbaur.

It's ugly.

15 posted on 05/04/2008 4:57:03 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: Popman
You MUST be shi..ng pooping me!
16 posted on 05/04/2008 5:00:40 PM PDT by kewlhandluke2
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To: NormsRevenge

You should see our new libraries, they tore down the 1950’s libraries and built new 1950’s libraries. UGLY. I guess you have to be Mexican to appreciate them.


17 posted on 05/04/2008 5:02:17 PM PDT by Haddit (A Hunter Conservative)
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To: Popman
A roller coaster designer dould have done it cheaper...


18 posted on 05/04/2008 5:08:01 PM PDT by LibFreeOrDie
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To: NormsRevenge

It’s ugly as hell, the spawn of the Frank Ghery school of architecture, with twisted metal and massive gaps in the structure.


19 posted on 05/04/2008 5:08:45 PM PDT by DesScorp
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To: BenLurkin

the water slide is the our lady of angels cathedral!

watch archbishop maphony slide and slide.


20 posted on 05/04/2008 5:15:17 PM PDT by ken21 ( people die + you never hear from them again.)
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To: Popman

It’ll be quite a view for the suicide-prone.


21 posted on 05/04/2008 5:18:14 PM PDT by rabidralph
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To: NormsRevenge

Great - now we have that expensive roller coaster right across the freeway from a cathedral that looks like it was made out of sheets of plywood.


22 posted on 05/04/2008 5:20:05 PM PDT by Moonmad27 (Simplify, simplify, simplify. H.D. Thoreau)
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To: Popman
In 2003, The Times reported that philanthropist Eli Broad had lobbied L.A. Unified officials to "redesign the Grand Avenue campus into an elaborate visual and performing arts school." A more conventional campus would have saved taxpayers about $100 million.

New definition for 'philanthropist': Someone who spends his money 'lobbying' government to fund his pet project instead of actually paying for it himself.

23 posted on 05/04/2008 5:29:49 PM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: NormsRevenge

It would have served the students better had they been in a drab building, with a good northern exposure, mind you, and that money spent on giving them a far better education than the dreary and pedantic fools that are most art faculty.

Were I to be in charge of such an art school, much of the curriculum would be devoted to art history and recognition. A second part would be in the skills need to reproduce the great art of the past. The third part in transcending just the manipulation of the known, to achieving truly creative inspiration.

For this third part, the students would need an understanding of things not usually associated with art, such as science, mathematics, and statistics. The underlying purpose of this would be to expand their media to include phenomenology and illusion. To restore a respect for art as a form of magic.

Great art must in some way be hypnotic, not just complex. It must be able to fixate a viewer, and compel them to ask how was this done?

Today, much of art is crude efforts at basic emotional stimulation. To make the viewer feel something, usually out of just element recognition. To a great extent it is meager efforts to be offensive, with crass references to politics, religion, and pop culture.

Those of you who have visited a better city science museum have seen much better examples of proto-art. Imagine converting some of this phenomena into art of enjoyable illusions? Art which does not answer the viewers question of “how did they do it?” Art which tickles the senses and the mind and creates a sense of wonderment.

This is what ancient cave paintings did. And it is no wonder that they are still seen as the first works of art in the world.

Visitors who see the works of an artist should be as fixated as if they had been given a tour of the inside of a UFO. Every detail must be scrutinized and puzzled over, a mystery that might not ever be solved. Magic.


24 posted on 05/04/2008 5:32:10 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: sportutegrl
New definition for 'philanthropist':Someone who spends his money 'lobbying' government to fund his pet project instead of actually paying for it himself.

Nice catch on finding the semantics gymnastics

25 posted on 05/04/2008 5:32:23 PM PDT by Popman (Typical bitter white male clinging to my religion and guns......................)
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To: Moonmad27

Great, a quarter of a billion dollars to pamper spoiled yuppie brats who are “SO talented!”, so they can crap on the masters and anything before “modern” art in comfort. The place will be covered in grafitti in a week - oh, wait, that’s the “Mural” class at work.

The only good thing is a really good quake will reduce that place to rubble, and hopefully not while school is in session, all that glass and hanging steel is a guaranteed deathtrap.

I can’t get mad, I’m too upset at the amount of money our elected officials want to throw at banks to “cure” the “mortgage crisis”, this is a drop in the bucket, and typical CA excess. I saw the same in Northern Cal when they were cutting school programs and using 15 year old textbooks, but they built an 11 million dollar pink marble District headquarters.

Throw the bums out, that all you can do. The money is spent. Elect someone who will repurpose the building to something more useful, like retraining mortgage brokers and real estate agents to find real work.


26 posted on 05/04/2008 5:37:30 PM PDT by ByDesign
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Wow! And I always figured art was something I would pull out of the trash instead of leaving it for the garbage man.


27 posted on 05/04/2008 5:38:06 PM PDT by Haddit (A Hunter Conservative)
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To: 17th Miss Regt

Belmont closed because of contamination though, didn’t it?


28 posted on 05/04/2008 5:46:46 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (Buy a Mac ...)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

“Were I to be in charge of such an art school, much of the curriculum would be devoted to art history and recognition. A second part would be in the skills need to reproduce the great art of the past. The third part in transcending just the manipulation of the known, to achieving truly creative inspiration.”

You’d have teachers lined up from across the world to teach there - but you’d have to screen carefully to keep out the monsters who have taken over and destroyed art education in the country, turning it into a self-serving, selfish means of throwing temper tantrums at whatever one is unhappy about, or puerile “political” expression.

If even ONE gets in, it’s over, they’re like cancer. Next thing you know, you’ll have a union forming (this would have to be a private school), there would be political protests being held on a regular basis, and the general mood on campus would go from happy, excited and positive to moody, sneering, and sullen.

I’m not entirely sold that college, or at least the way we structure college, is the best way for an artist to learn their trade and their art. The greatest artists of all time were trained in the studios of master artists, and were started at a young age, and they lived, breathed, and worked art, along with lessons in the other disciplines, from a young age. They learned by taking part and helping prepare the studio and later help complete commissions for the master, until they proved they could compete and then became journeymen.

Today’s educational system is too pampered, too full of PC gook, to produce great artists. They are all engaged ina race to appease their art teachers, and their art teacher’s worldview and politics and sexual identity, and it’s producing poor quality artists and dreck art.

This school is just another cog in that machine. It will serve as any other private art school does - to pamper arrogant yuppie spawn, babysit them so they don’t burn down Mommy and Daddy’s McMansion (in LA, Mommy’s McMansion, dad was kicked out long ago), and take their tuition to pay for the professor’s indulgent lifestyle. It will be like any other private art school in the country, it will be blocks and blocks of angry, sullen, pierced, red-dyed hair, black wearing, silver jewelry wearing, dreadlocked teenagers smoking cloves or worse and generally clogging up the streets. Go to class? Why, maaaaan, the real education in in th streets, maaaaan, my professor said so.

Yay.


29 posted on 05/04/2008 5:51:13 PM PDT by ByDesign
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To: 17th Miss Regt

The Los Angeles Catholic Cathedral [on the left hand side of the photo above] cost $190,000,000.

That went way over budget and was built several years ago.


30 posted on 05/04/2008 5:53:25 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (Buy a Mac ...)
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To: umgud

Did you watch the movie “Fame”?


31 posted on 05/04/2008 5:54:14 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (Buy a Mac ...)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Why would you want to reproduce the art of the past?


32 posted on 05/04/2008 5:55:39 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (Buy a Mac ...)
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To: BunnySlippers

Sort of. The area is an old oilfield and gas is given off constantly. Remediation of these natural processes was expensive.


33 posted on 05/04/2008 5:56:33 PM PDT by 17th Miss Regt
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To: 17th Miss Regt

You have to wonder why they didn’t know in advance.

I drive by it several times a week. It’s huge ... and empty. But I don’t think they’ll ever be clearance to build there again.


34 posted on 05/04/2008 6:05:58 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (Buy a Mac ...)
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To: BunnySlippers
Cost overruns seem endemic where there is a big pot of money available. I just saw the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new section of a local hospital that was supposed to be a $35,000,000 addition (to start construction in 2003 and to open in 2006). This was to be $10,000,000 in federal money (for earthquake retrofitting of existing facilities), $15,000,000 in corporate money and a $10,000,000 in funds to be raised by the hospital itself through fundraising activities. The fundraising effort fell flat on its face. Today, the speaker announced the new $75,000,000 addition to the hospital. So the hospital's parent corporation took a $50,000,000 bath on the project and opened it two years late. I'm sure some of the executives will get handsomely rewarded for their performance.

And there is even less accountability in the publis sector.

35 posted on 05/04/2008 6:10:47 PM PDT by 17th Miss Regt
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To: NormsRevenge

Ok, I have to admit there is a place for art and Los Angeles is a place that puts art to practice. It may be Architecture, Industrial Design (were they design products), Entertainment (theme parks and show props), or just plain old art.

Art is exciting, I can remember a guy I thought was some derelict walking into work and in two days there was a marble looking King Neptune.

Disney has free classes for employees and as everyone knows, they are tops.


36 posted on 05/04/2008 6:22:13 PM PDT by Haddit (A Hunter Conservative)
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To: BunnySlippers
Did you watch the movie “Fame”?

Nope.

37 posted on 05/04/2008 6:50:59 PM PDT by umgud (this tagline is an excerpt)
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To: BunnySlippers

To learn how it was and is done.

For example, one variety of Japanese ink drawing, Ukiyo-e, is very different from western drawing styles. The side of the palm does not rest on the paper, the brushes are very stylized, and endless practice is needed to produce something artistically pure, like a mere stalk of bamboo. In learning it, you not only learn minimalism, but the projection of “spirit” with the tiniest stroke of the brush.

It can be compared to some of the later works of Matisse, and shows how even a squiggle to depict an eye, can express far more depth than a realistic looking eye. Picasso, likewise, created an extraordinary work of a nude woman’s backside, with just three thin lines.

At a more basic level, learning how a classical painting was developed by its artist teaches a methodical order to realism. Everything from the artists’ sketch studies, how they created a sense of perspective and balance, and made pictures that were relatively accurate, not caricature or illustration.

Then, there is cross training. Learning different media so that students are not close minded about the tools they use to create.

They also need considerable depth to find their artistic subjects. To understand how virtually everything can be made artistically relevant, naturally and artificially. This would require skills such as photography, and even research to understand the context of the study.


38 posted on 05/04/2008 7:00:57 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: NormsRevenge
Eli Broad. He was the one who wanted to pass on the cost of such Taj Mahals onto the taxpayers via a statewide parcel tax, which was overwhelmingly rejected by the voters.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

39 posted on 05/04/2008 7:24:41 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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