At a small community meeting inside Jordan High School’s massive auditorium Thursday night, Long Beach Unified School District officials announced that major renovations to Jordan High School would be the next project funded by Measure K bond dollars in the city.

The six-phase Jordan Facility Master Plan–which includes construction of eight new buildings and repairs to all others on the 27-acres campus–will be the single most expensive Measure K-funded project yet, with a construction budget of $135.6 million and an estimated final cost of $185 million. LBUSD has enough available cash to move forward with Phase 1 of the Jordan renovation, which officials say will begin in January of 2014.

“The last few years have been spent discussing and planning how we need to go about doing a major renovation on an existing high school,” said Carri Matsumoto, Executive Director of Facilties for LBUSD. “It is a logistically complex project and our main goal is not impacting instruction while we are doing work. The phasing is very important for that.”

Many objectives for the Jordan High School Master Plan come directly from the district-wide Facilities Master Plan, which was approved by the board shortly after the passage of Measure K in 2008 and provided a road map for each school including rennovation, new construction and necessary replacements. Because about 85% of the buildings in the district were built before 1950s–including many constructed in the 1930s and 1940s–there are a large number of structures that are in desperate need of repair and replacement. 

Jordan, in particular, provides its own set of unique challenges, which Matsumoto says her team discovered during an intense needs-assessment study. These include: density in both campus structures and the surrounding neighborhood (a high student population lives within walking distance); limited front access to visitors and pedestrians (with limited parking too); eight small learning communities/academies that all reside at Jordan (and are increasingly requiring updated technology labs to serve them); and the fact that campus contains a swath of buildings constructed at different times in its history. 

“This campus wasn’t necessarily built in totality all at once,” Matsumoto said, noting that the campus’ classroom inventory includes 32 portables in a former parking lot on Jordan’s north end. “It was started in the 1930s, continued in the 1940s and continued up until the 1990s…Because it’s been built over multiple eras, there is a hodgepodge of buildings and conditions that we need to deal with.”


One of the biggest complaints the District got from both students and staff, Matsumoto also said, was that there is no central gathering place for students–a fact apparent on site maps and made even worse by the cafeteria’s placement in a not easily accessible part of campus.

Couple all that with an active student body that utilizes the campus year-round and an aging utility system that the District says will likely have to be entirely replaced and a major Jordan High School renovation begins to sound like an unweildy undertaking.

But LBUSD has a plan, which will begin with next year’s implementation of Phase 1A–bringing in temporary classroom housing to be placed atop the current baseball field adjacent to the football/track stadium and installing six tennis courts on the southeast part of the property. In summer of 2014, work will begin on phases 1B and 1C which includes the demoliton of most of the campus’ north end and the construction of a new cafeteria and five instructional buildings in its place.

The new classtoom buildings–which will be two stories each and have been given a horseshoe design–are meant to house four of the school’s six learning academies and will feature flexible lab space as well as new classrooms that meet current state standards for size and technology amenities.

“Currently the programs are spread out across the existing facilities, which makes good use of the resources at hand, but could definitely be improved,” said Matsumoto. “What we tried to do is align the course of study with the new construction to help the school programs run a little more efficiently.”


Phases 1B and 1C will take four years to complete, according to district officials, which also means that many students who attend Jordan during the construction will never personally benefit from the results. Matsumoto acknowledged that those who enter as freshman in 2014 may spend their entire high school career in an inconvenienced environment, which when finished will still only be one-sixth of the improvements planned for the facilities, the remainder of which remains largely up in the air.

“We are still studying what to do with phases 2 through 6 relative to sequence and logistics. We do believe we have some of the funds together, but some of that will still prehaps change depending on future cash flow,” Matsumoto said. “Right now, we are reporting those phases as TBD…Even if only Phase 1 gets completed, then that phase will still be operational on its own.”

Measure K is a ballot initiative approved in 2008 that made available $1.2 billion in property taxes to build and improve LBUSD schools. The district currently has 15 Measure K projects in process throughout the district including two new small high schools, the first of which will open for its first class of 9th graders in fall 2013. 

Jordan is the first high school to receive such a massive remodel from Measure K funds with Cabrillo currently installing an outdoor pool and Poly and Wilson receiving upgrades to current buildings. 

“Jordan’s master plan is part of a whole revitalization effort the city is undertaking in this neighborhood and the facelift Jordan receives will be a part of the North Long Beach rejuvination that includes the North Branch Library and other streetscape improvements,” said Matsumoto. “We want to see a new sense of pride with this facelift so there can be a sense of gathering and a sense of community. We are hoping to improve the sense of identity here through these facility improvements.”

To learn more about LBUSD’s Measure K projects, visit

Jordan High School Major Renovation Powerpoint by Long Beach Post

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