With the goal to provide a renovated campus that will offer state-of-the-art facilities for thousands of local high school students, a group of Lynwood Unified School District Board of Education members joined District leaders and the Superintendent in late April to visit the State Capitol and advocate for financial support in the rebuilding of Lynwood High School’s fallen Imperial Campus.
The district group, led by Mr. Alfonso Morales, School Board President; Ms. Maria Lopez, Lynwood Unified School Board Member; Dr. Gudiel Crosthwaite, Superintendent, and Gregory Fromm, Assistant Superintendent Business Services, met 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.
Lynwood Unified estimates that $422 million will be needed to rebuild and fully restore a high-quality campus for the Lynwood community, as well as address the consequential damages to the district.
As a result of this special visit, Senator Lena Gonzalez issued a line-item budget request letter to support funding for this project.
“The community of Lynwood and the students of LUSD are in need of immediate financial assistance to fund the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Lynwood High School, in order to help them through this unprecedented emergency,” said Senator Gonzalez in the letter, which was also endorsed by Assemblymember Mike Gipson.
“The district has come a long way to improve academic outcomes and we are committed to ensuring that we continue that upward trajectory,” LUSD Superintendent, Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “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.”
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.
“We are exploring all financial options, but ultimately it’s the value of advocacy from those in power that can truly create the change we need,” said Gregory Fromm, LUSD Assistant Superintendent of Business Services. “We need to right a wrong of structural malpractice and ensure our students are not penalized for the mismanagement of others.”
In October of 2021, Lynwood Unified hosted Senator Gonzalez, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and the office of Congresswoman Nanette Barragan at the Lynwood Imperial Campus to view the construction failures firsthand.
In 2022, the school district has once again taken a direct approach to come face-to-face with lawmakers in Sacramento.
“We are committed to traveling whatever distance it takes to deliver on our promise to provide students the best facilities and learning tools that we have to offer,” LUSD Board President Alfonso Morales said. “We know that our elected 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.”
After this successful visit to Sacramento, the School District will continue to work with legislators to ensure that Lynwood is assigned the much needed funds when the State finalizes its budget.