(South Gate) – Today, Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner, Board Vice President Jackie Goldberg, elected officials, parents, and the South Gate community attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the International Studies Learning New Middle School Addition, part of the Legacy High School Complex in South Gate.
“In a time when Washington seems to focus on conflict and differences, we must lead the way in our schools and teach our students that the best way forward is through better cooperation and understanding of the world around us,” Superintendent Beutner said. “This new facility is a demonstration of our commitment to providing our students with world class facilities and a world class education.”
The International Studies Learning Center, a span school serving students in 6th through 12th grades, has operated on separate campuses since the opening of the Legacy High School Complex in 2011. High school students attended school at the Legacy campus, while middle school students attended Southeast Middle. The new middle school addition allows the International Studies Learning Center to operate both high school and middle school programs on the same campus – the Legacy High School Complex t houses three schools: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math (STEAM), Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA), and the International Studies Learning Center (ISLC).
The project also includes the removal of portable classrooms from South Gate Middle School, which allows more open and playground space for that campus, relieves the necessity of relying on bungalows, and aligns middle school enrollment for area middle schools: Southeast Middle School, South Gate Middle School, and International Studies Learning Center.
“I am joyful at the opening of the International Studies New Middle School, a dream realized,” Board Vice President Goldberg said. “Having a middle and high school that focus on International Studies means that students will have seven years to truly become ‘global citizens.’ Neither of these schools would have been built without the long-term, dedicated advocacy of the community group Padres Unidos Pro Nuevas Escuelas de South Gate. Los Angeles Unified listened to the community, and now there are two remarkable assets for generations of students now and in the future.”
The International Studies Learning New Middle School Addition, a $40 million bond investment, includes a two-story permanent building with 16 classrooms, a multi-purpose room/gymnasium, lunch shelter, outdoor basketball and volleyball courts, parking stalls, and unique design elements featuring a world map in the quad courtyard and drought-resistant landscaping.
“I am particularly proud of this latest addition to the Legacy High School Complex,” Chief Facilities Executive Mark Hovatter said. “At a site once plagued with environmental contamination, we were able to make it safe and a highly desirable destination for our Los Angeles Unified students and the local community. With the coordination of the City of South Gate and the extraordinary unwavering support of Padres Unidos Pro Nuevas Escuelas de South Gate, we were also able to merge the middle and high school International Studies programs onto one location with the completion of our most recent state-of-the-art complex.”
“Everything about the Legacy High School complex is a success,” Local District East Superintendent José Huerta said. “Today’s celebration culminates the collective efforts of all involved – experts, educators, parents, community, and elected representatives –
to build and expand this state-of-the-art educational facility. Our students are learning about World Cultures, learning new languages, and gaining international recognition.”
“It is my great pleasure to join you, today, for the opening ceremony celebration of the new ISLC Middle School,” Japan Vice Consul in Los Angeles Yuichiro Tanaka said. “I hope the new campus inspires the ISLC students to learn new things and step out of their comfort zone.”
“Teachers, staff, students, and parents are thrilled about the official grand opening celebration of our very special school in its long-awaited new building,” ISLC Principal Joyce Dara said. “Providing a 6th through 12th span school with a focus on International Studies is more and more important every day. Now that our very special family is no longer separated by miles, we are a true learning center community with all the profound student learning opportunities and professional collaboration at our fingertips thanks to our new beautiful immediate location!”
“I will never forget my 11 years as a principal at ISLC,” Local District East Director Dr. Guillermina Jauregui said. “I experienced several professional highlights from hosting the former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, to receiving the school recognitions of Gold Ribbon, Title 1 Academic Achievement, and 21st Century Learning Exemplar School (P21) for living the school’s mission and vision of inspiring and preparing global citizens. These honors were a culmination of every stakeholder’s dedication, effort, and hard work.”
Los Angeles Unified’s $20 billion bond investment delivered 137 schools: 131 brand new campuses and six facilities to replace existing schools. Currently, we are working on 22 large-scale comprehensive modernization projects to address the most critical physical conditions at schools with the greatest need for significant improvements to buildings and grounds. （LAUSD）