resident Mike Nolan each asked board members to update the community
about what has been done to respond to accusations that the district
has given preferential treatment to building and modernization
projects at Burbank High.
Bowman said modernization plans for each school are fair and based
entirely on school modernization needs.
Portions of Burbank High dated back to the 1920s, and officials
determined that it was more cost efficient and necessary to
completely rebuild parts of the school rather than renovate them.
Burroughs High facilities date back to the 1940s, '50s and '60s, and
officials determined that remodeling and modernizing the school was
adequate, Bowman said.
About $66.7 million has been spent on reconstruction and
modernization at Burbank High, and about $48.7 million has been spent
"Burbank High was decrepit in many ways," Bowman said Friday.
"There was not a person that would not comment on the embarrassment
of the condition of the school before we started construction. The
two schools are now equal, in terms of teaching space. And we have
added a completely new, three-story classroom building, a quad,
gymnasium, pool and cafeteria at Burroughs, and the rest has been
modernized. You wouldn't even recognize it if you didn't know it was
the same school."
Board members and district officials took tours of Burroughs
classrooms last month and listened to concerns of teachers, staff and
People told officials that the faucets in the new science rooms
leak and water splashes out of the sinks and that not enough new
writing boards are available.
They also said the new gymnasium needs more work, the landscaping
is insufficient, the partitions in some boys' restrooms are not
adequate, and the school needs more entrances. More than 100
complaints were filed, Bowman said.
"I think teachers are pleased with what's being done," said Kim
Allender, co-president of the Burbank Teachers' Assn. "Burroughs
teachers have made it clear that some things at the school are in
need of reevaluation, and we are very comfortable that the line of
communication is open and that the problems will be rectified."
The school board is reviewing a list of concerns compiled during
the site visits to Burroughs last month. The board will prioritize
the concerns as short-range and long-range, based on the immediacy of
the concern, board President Trish Burnett said.
"We will probably say what classroom changes we'll need to move on
right away," Burnett said Friday. "The key thing to remember here is
that it was never said the two schools would be equal, but
comparable. Students at both schools will continue to get the same
quality of education. The schools are just built differently.
Burroughs has a stadium, Burbank High doesn't. We don't have the
space to make them exactly equal."