Response to Opposition to the Archer Expansion plan

Case for and Response to Opposition to the Archer Expansion plan

In order to respond to opposition to the Archer expansion plan, leadership invested in a brochure stating its case including both its statement of need — using the term essential (implying that if the expansion is not approved the school cannot offer the quality of education its parents expect and its students need) — and its response to community concerns. The full color brochure can be found at http://www.archerforward.org/files/ArcherForward_BrochureV1_FINALPROOF.pdf

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Archer forward

Campus Improvement and Preservation Plan

THE NEED.

Over the last 15 years, The Archer School for Girls has proven that our innovative, girl-centered educational model is successful, important to this city, and in high demand. Now we are seeking the essential facilities that nearly every other independent and public school in Los Angeles already has.

  • Our cramped, 300-square-foot classrooms were converted from dormitory rooms and lack climate controls and sufficient electrical infrastructure, thus impeding modern teaching and learning.
  • Our girls perform in a black box theater in our basement, with a capacity of only 75 seats.
  • Many of our students have to travel off-campus every day for rehearsals, practices, performances, and games. Transportation requires hours of bus travel, reducing class time and adding to traffic.
  • Our existing facilities do not support our fitness and athletic programs for Middle and Upper School — student athletes have to change in bathrooms and classrooms for athletics because there are no locker rooms.
  • There is no space for the entire school to gather indoors for assemblies, guest speakers, presentations, or other educational opportunities.
  • Parking is insufficient and requires use of Brentwood Village spaces.
  • Archer needs modern facilities to continue delivering its educational mission for girls in the years to come. With the improvements in Archer Forward, our students will have modern facilities where they can learn, perform, exhibit art, and play sports

THE ARCHER FORWARD COMPROMISE PLAN IS ESSENTIAL TO PROVIDING A WORLD-CLASS, 21ST-CENTURY EDUCATION FOR GIRLS IN A MANNER RESPECTFUL OF THE BRENTWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD WE CALL HOME.

How does the plan address neighbors’ concerns about traffic?

As part of our ongoing efforts to limit traffic in the area, Archer Forward will eliminate all school and athletic events with outside guests that begin between 4:30-6:00 p.m. — the heaviest traffic period. Archer will also raise the commitments of its model traffic management program, increasing required busing to a minimum of 70% of all students and requiring all other students to carpool.

What was Archer’s response to Councilmember Bonin’s insistence on significant modifications to the original plan?

Archer agreed to every request made by Councilmember Bonin.

How does the plan address neighbors’ concerns about noise?

In order to reduce noise, Archer is placing all parking underground and removing 109 surface parking spaces — more than half of which are located next to the adjacent multifamily residences. We also added an underground walkway connecting the parking area to the Performing Arts Center and gym, which must be used for any event concluding after 8 p.m. All fitness and athletics activities currently held on the outdoor sports court will be moved indoors. Finally, we have eliminated all events from the North Garden as requested by neighbors.

How much of the land area will be covered by buildings?

Approximately 26% of the property will have above-ground buildings. The remaining 74% of the campus will be open space, including landscaped and circulation areas. Importantly, the view of our historic building and expansive front lawn will remain the same.

How does the plan address neighbors’ concerns about traffic?

As part of our ongoing efforts to limit traffic in the area, Archer Forward will eliminate all school and athletic events with outside guests that begin between 4:30-6:00 p.m. — the heaviest traffic period. Archer will also raise the commitments of its model traffic management program, increasing required busing to a minimum of 70% of all students and requiring all other students to carpool.

How much of the land area will be covered by buildings?

Approximately 26% of the property will have above-ground buildings. The remaining 74% of the campus will be open space, including landscaped and circulation areas. Importantly, the view of our historic building and expansive front lawn will remain the same.

How does the plan preserve neighborhood character?

There will be no buildings along nearly two-thirds of Archer’s property on Chaparal. The buildings are designed to be consistent with residential height and setback requirements. The proposed field lights and Aquatics Center have been eliminated. The athletic field was shifted east, creating a landscape buffer along the western property boundary. We have added a double row of trees along Chaparal: half of the trees will be on the street, and the other half will be just inside our property line. All of our proposed landscaping improvements are intended to preserve and enhance views from the neighborhood.

Is Archer planning to increase its enrollment?

No. Archer’s existing enrollment cap will be maintained. Archer Forward is designed to give our students the facilities they need, and will not increase the number of students above the existing maximum.

What’s next?

We will continue to actively engage with the community and our stakeholders as we move forward in the public review process. You can find updates about upcoming hearings and the latest news about the project by visiting ArcherForward.org.

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