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Board Member Mónica García and Board of Education Approve Comprehensive Modernization Project At Abraham Lincoln Senior High School (1-12-21)


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News Release


Contact: Jennifer Valdivia                                                 
(213) 414-4812,      


Board Member Mónica García and Board of Education Approve Comprehensive Modernization Project At Abraham Lincoln Senior High School



LOS ANGELES (Jan. 12, 2021) — Los Angeles Unified Board Member Mónica García and the Board of Education move to approve the Lincoln High School Comprehensive Modernization Project, an investment of over $233 million dollars in voter approved bond funds. Founded in 1878, the investment will address the most critical physical conditions of the school’s buildings and grounds. The proposed Project includes the construction of approximately 10 general and specialty classrooms and associated support spaces within a new classroom building and a Performing Arts Building, among many other upgrades. In addition, the proposed Project includes the voluntary seismic retrofit and modernization of Administration Building, Home Economics Building, Auditorium Building, Gymnasium Building, and Pedestrian Bridge. 

“I am super grateful to the Lincoln High School community for modeling such stellar collaboration on this significant effort to honor our past and celebrate our future,'' Board Member Mónica García said. “This is hard work to do and all the historic pieces make it extra special. Again, thank you to the voters for your continued support for our schools and athletic fields.”

Los Angeles Councilmember Gilbert Cedillo said, “Today, Los Angeles Unified Board Member Mónica García took an important first step by leading the approval of the Abraham Lincoln High School Comprehensive Modernization Plan Project. We both agree that these are significant improvements to facilities for academic learning but neglects an athletic field that significantly needs improvements to achieve the health and the wellbeing of students. In response to funding needs by Los Angeles Unified, I authored a motion that was adopted by the City Council on November 25, 2020, to secure $1.5-2 million that will be used for the athletic field, an investment that would ensure the modernization is comprehensive to encompass the physical conditions of all, not just some of the school grounds. As a product of Los Angeles Unified, I appreciate the value of good classrooms and vibrant athletic fields. I will continue to support our Lincoln Heights community and work with Los Angeles Unified Board Member García to ensure we use the funding to design a modernization plan and construct improvements that are truly comprehensive by including the athletic field.”

Lincoln Heights students, leaders and staff shared their gratitude and excitement about the upcoming changes.

“I would like to express my deep gratitude to everyone who has made this project a reality, especially our distinguished Board Member Mónica García,” Lincoln High School Principal Rose Ann Ruiz said. “We have seen Lincoln High School evolve for over 100 years. We have come a long way since the original 1878 Avenue 21 Grammar School. I am honored to be part of a school that has produced a Supreme Court Justice as well as war heroes, well-known activists, sports legends, singers, writers, and many others. The modernization project will provide us 21st century classrooms so that our students can have a state-of-the-art school and can continue the legacy of producing future leaders and heroes in our community and beyond.”

“Having had the experience of being the principal during the Fremont High School modernization and new construction project, I share a first-hand account of how these projects and plans to upgrade schools can transform how students and teachers feel, while teaching and learning in a state-of-the-art facility,” Pedro Avalos, who serves the Lincoln Heights and El Sereno community as its Community of Schools Administrator at Los Angeles Unified said. “I also witnessed the pride of not just those of us using this facility on a daily basis, but of those in the community and alumni. The Lincoln High School Comprehensive Modernization Project is not only deserved, it’s needed, and it has been earned by a community that has a history of leading us into equity and access. This new educational facility will set the stage for a new generation of leaders to come. I would also like to add, that the sooner we break ground, the sooner hundreds of our students will get to experience learning in high-end classrooms, in fully equipped science rooms, and in beautiful performing arts spaces.”

Lincoln High School Discipline Safety Coordinator Jorge Sanchez stated, “I would like to thank everyone who made possible the realization of this important project. The modernization project is not only important to everyone at Lincoln High School but to everyone in our community. I arrived in the United States at the age of 16 and enrolled at Lincoln High School. My choices were either to get a job or to go to school. I did both. I have seen many changes take place in Lincoln Heights. However, one thing that has not changed throughout the years is that the community continues to believe in their youth as future leaders. I now know that is the reason why I have spent most of my professional life at Lincoln High School. Lincoln Heights embraced and helped transform the life of a 16-year-old boy from Durango, Mexico into a biology teacher at Lincoln High School. I am honored to be part of the Lincoln High School family. Let’s continue to be a place where dreams become a reality.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing a more updated Lincoln High School for our future students,” Efrain Balbuena, a junior at Lincoln High School, said. “We deserve a type of school environment that has more green spaces and more quality classrooms where we can have a better education.”

Community leaders shared their response to the significant improvements to the facilities as well. “We are looking forward to future generations of Lincoln High School students benefiting from a modernized campus that continues to prepare them for successful futures,” said Maria Brenes, Executive Director at InnerCity Struggle. “This is the type of public investment our young people and communities truly deserve. We are grateful for the leadership of School Board Member Mónica García and the Los Angeles Unified Facilities team for advancing this historic $233 million modernization effort. Today, we celebrate progress in educational justice for highest need students. In 1968, Lincoln High School students were the catalyst to the East LA Walkouts that exposed institutional injustice in public education impacting Latinx youth in the Eastside. This modernization project honors their legacy by creating a facility designed toward preparing every student for college and careers.”

“On behalf of the alumni community and future Tigers, I want to give my full and unencumbered support for this project,” Stephen Sariñana-Lampson, President for the Kenny Washington Stadium Foundation said. “And while the challenge of installing a new athletic field was beyond the scope of this project, thanks to Board Member García and Councilmember Gilbert Cedillo, solutions to solve this overwhelming desire by the school community are refreshingly underway.”

Today’s decision is a reminder to all our students of our commitment to their education and success at Los Angeles Unified. The project is set to be completed by 2028.  

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