Tuesday, September 28, 2004

COULD LAUSD BELMONT COST HALF BILLION?

Los Angeles, CA “The World’s Most Expensive High School” in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the title of an ongoing television series being broadcast via streaming video at Full Disclosure Network Online.


The programs are also being cablecast on 40 cable systems throughout California. A listing of channels and airtimes can be found on the website at www.fulldisclosure.net by clicking on "TV Channel Guide".

This unique internet TV series produced by the Full Disclosure Network features Emmy Award winning host Leslie Dutton interviewing the major players involved in the planning, financing, construction and investigations of the controversial Belmont High School development. Billed as investigative journalism, at it’s best, the Belmont series features the key people who were most involved in the controversial public works project and subsequent investigations.

The astoundingly enormous Belmont school site can also be viewed in the attached aerial photograph LAUSD Belmont Learning Center that was included as part of the $1.5 million investigation and report prepared by LAUSD Inspector General Don Mullinax. The Belmont investigations revealed numerous instances of false billings, kickbacks, waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayers funds but were deemed not prosecutable by Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley.

So far Full Disclosure Network has completed eleven hours of interviews and is planning a two-hour videotaped forum production entitled “Lessons Learned on Belmont School Construction” to be held in the late fall of 2004 or early 2005.

To date the Belmont project is sixty percent completed and has cost California and Los Angeles taxpayers $175 million including $30 million for the 37 acre site formerly known as the Los Angeles oil field that was purchased “AS IS” from Japanese developer Shimizu. LAUSD and oil and gas experts vary in their projected costs for remediation of the toxic substances, estimates range from $14 million to $107 million.

An Additional $110 million has been approved by LAUSD for demolition and construction to complete the project. Not all, but some, of the newly constructed Belmont buildings that were built on top of an earth quake fault and impacted by methane gas and hydrogen sulfide are to be demolished in the Fall of 2004. On Tuesday, June 22, 2004 the LAUSD board approved the project’s environmental impact report, paving the way for completion of the stymied project.

LAUSD financial projections indicate the total cost of Belmont High School could be $300 million, while skeptical observers say they would not be surprised to see the total cost closer to one-half a $BILLION dollars taking into account possible cost overruns and change orders.

Visit our website for more compelling details on this and other interviews in the series titled “The World’s Most Expensive High School

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