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Valley New High School No. 1

As part of a major building program, the Los Angeles Unified School District proposed the construction of a new academy high school on the campus of the California State University Northridge. The high school was designed as an academy school with a focus on careers in education and the arts and was proposed on the CSUN campus to take advantage of the university’s excellent teaching program.  Aspen prepared an Environmental Impact Report for the new high school.

The new high school would be constructed on a 5-acre vacant parcel on the university campus. The new school would share the university’s athletic facilities, which are located adjacent to the proposed project site. With the shared athletic facilities, the school would have about 10 acres in recreational area available to the high school students. The school would include 38 classrooms, a library, an auditorium, a fitness center, gymnasium and support facilities, administrative offices, a cafeteria and food service area, a student store, and underground parking.   

The most controversial issues were the increased traffic and parking on residential streets associated with the construction and operation of the new high school. Residents were concerned that the new high school would further exacerbate current parking problems in their neighborhoods. A neighborhood parking plan was required to identify measures that would reduce parking impacts on residential streets and would be developed with the assistance of residents. 

Further, the school would front a major transportation corridor in the project area, which has heavy traffic from the university and the surrounding neighborhoods. The traffic study evaluated fourteen intersections in the project area.  Of the studied intersections, four had no impacts, eight were less than significant with mitigation and two intersections were found to have significant unavoidable traffic impacts. The Board of Education approved the project and certified the EIR after taking public comments.  

Practice areas: Public Facilities

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