the school district a deadline of Sept. 30 to have the soundproofing
completed, stating that "grants that have not experienced significant
progress ... in 18 months indicate that the project may not have been
Recently, FAA officials verbally agreed to preserve its grant offer to
the school district as long as a "notice to proceed" order for
construction is completed by the deadline.
Airport officials said the FAA made a $1.9-million grant offer to
Burbank Adult School -- then Mingay Adult School -- in 1994, but no
construction has been done.
In contrast, the soundproofing at Luther Burbank Middle School, which
received a grant offer from the FAA in August 1989, took only four years
Airport and school officials contend the delay in construction was
because district officials didn't sign the grant offer until January
1999. The offer signed in 1999 also included an additional grant of $1.3
"There was a fairly protracted period of back and forth between the
authority and the school district where the district decided it no longer
wanted to accept the 'avigation easement,"' Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena
Airport Authority Spokesman Victor Gill said.
The easement, which district officials signed during the soundproofing
of Luther Burbank five years earlier, bars the school district from suing
the airport over noise issues once soundproofing is complete.
"The concept was the same, but since time had passed since [Luther
Burbank], we wanted to have new language included in the easement," said
Ali Kiafer, Burbank Unified School District chief facilities and
The two parties signed a modified easement in 1999 barring the school
district from suing the airport but promising future noise issues would
be addressed by the authority.
Design plans are awaiting approval from the state's architectural
agency. Kiafer said he expects approval by May. Then the school district
will look for a developer and receive a notice to proceed with
construction by the end of September. The construction project should
take 18 months, Kiafer said.
FAA officials changed their minds about pulling the grant when they
recognized all the progress the school district had been making on the
project, Kiafer said.