LBUSD President of the Board of Education Megan Kerr cuts the ribbon, surrounded by community partners and officials, Browning staff and students, and family members of Richard D. Browning. Photos by Asia Morris.
Local elected officials and community partners gathered Tuesday evening to commemorate the opening of Richard D. Browning High School, the first Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) high school to offer academic pathways to hospitality, culinary arts and recreation careers.
"The pathways at Browning High will lead to some of the fastest-growing careers in the near future," Principal Felicia Anderson said in a statement. "We are preparing students for management and executive level jobs in international hotels and resorts. They will be cutting edge developers of travel tourism and top chefs at restaurants."
The lower quad.
The $81 million, 10-acre campus will serve grades 9 to 12 with a maximum of 800 students. Browning opened its doors to its first class of 150 ninth graders on August 30, while a new ninth grade class will be added each year for four years.
In the meantime, Rogers Middle School eighth graders will be using some of Browning’s available classrooms temporarily while their school is outfitted with air conditioning among other improvements.
The computer lab.
Browning marks the third small high school in the district opened in four years using funds from Measure K, a $1.2 billion school improvement and building initiative voters approved in 2008.
Classrooms and labs are equipped with the latest computer and internet technology, as well as state-of-the-art commercial kitchen facilities. Students that led the tours on Tuesday showed off their work from geography-for-tourism studies and cooking classes, which included Thanksgiving menus and Tapenade to sample.
One student voiced he wanted to be the next Gordon Ramsay while another said she was looking forward to business classes provided to 11th graders, with her goals including running her own company in the future.
The industrial kitchen classroom.
“The curriculum and job training offered at Browning High takes full advantage of its location near a major commercial port and tourist area,” Anderson said in a statement. “By providing internships, on-the-job training and classroom support in partnership with business and industry leaders, we are preparing future top chefs, restaurant and hotel managers, and leaders in every corner of the hospitality and tourism industry.”
Named after Richard D. Browning, a strong supporter of public education in Long Beach, a local business owner and community leader, the school will serve students from the district and surrounding communities.
Richard D. Browning High School is located at 2180 Obispo Avenue.