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Jordan Middle School gets jump-start

March 01, 2003

It was a brisk spring morning, a Saturday. A crew made up of mostly

adults had been asked to give up their precious nonworking time for a

worthy cause. They were going to give Jordan Middle School a quick

face-lift. It wasn't a cure, just a bandage, really. The facilities

were in need of some long-overdue repairs and upgrades. But thanks to

a donation of paint and materials, the group of more than 100 people

picked up brushes and rollers and began to paint the hallways and

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restrooms. It was a long day, but in the end, the once- drab halls

looked brighter and cleaner, temporarily masking the need for deeper

and more extensive work to be done.

This was not a unique situation; in fact, it was happening all

over Burbank. Volunteers with paint brushes in hand were doing what

they could to give our schools a much-needed face-lift as a stop-gap

measure until the school district could do cost analysis and budgets

for the scope of work necessary to modernize our schools. In an

effort to help the Burbank Unified School District begin the process,

the Burbank City Council gave the schools a generous $23-million

gift. Jordan Middle School was one of the first schools selected to

benefit from this donation.

With funding in place and plans approved, the work began. There

was a lot to be done and slowly, as the community watched, the

transformation began to take place. Lockers were cleaned and fixed,

and walls were painted. Classrooms were rewired for the age of

technology. Furniture was replaced and new floors were put in. As the

work progressed, the foundation for the general obligation bond was

laid. The work on Jordan continued. After each phase, opportunities

to see the completed work were given to public officials and the rest

of the community. The bond passed, partially due to the way the

public saw how Jordan was progressing. It is interesting to note that

Jordan's modernization has used no bond funds to date, just part of

the city's donation and some FEMA money secured by the district.

At a recent holiday event, I was speaking to a young man who was a

lifelong Burbank resident. He went to Jordan about 20 years ago. He

told me he had been proud to attend there, and his junior high days

helped to give him the foundation he needed to be successful. He just

couldn't believe the difference the modernization had made in the

classrooms. His own daughter attends Jordan now, and he is very

pleased with the academic excellence as well as the quality of the

physical plant.

"Burbank just does what it's always done," he said. "They've kept

it a great place to live and raise your kids. We get nothing but the

best."

DAVID NOS

Member, Community

Oversight Committee

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