Tuesday, September 25

UCLA to open Westwood secondary school with donation from David Geffen

UCLA officials announced the opening of a middle and high school in 2017, which will be located where the Kinross Recreation Center building is currently located.
(Daily Bruin file photo)

UCLA officials announced the opening of a middle and high school in 2017, which will be located where the Kinross Recreation Center building is currently located. (Daily Bruin file photo)

UCLA will open a school for middle and high school students in 2017 in Westwood Village funded by a $100 million donation from David Geffen, officials announced Wednesday.

Half of the students enrolled in the academy will be from the greater Los Angeles community while the other half will be children of UCLA faculty and staff, said Phil Hampton, a UCLA spokesperson. The specifics of the application process have not been decided. The school’s development will be spearheaded by the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.

The new school, called the Geffen Academy at UCLA, will be located on Kinross Avenue near Novel Cafe. The Kinross Recreation Center building will be renovated to accommodate only sixth and ninth graders in its first year and will later expand to include about 600 students in sixth through 12th grade.

Officials will spend the $100 million gift renovating the Kinross Recreation Center building, or KREC, hiring faculty and developing curriculum for the academy, according to a press release. With this donation, Geffen’s contributions surpass $400 million. Geffen is the largest individual donor to UCLA.

Officials will use $30 million to sustain the academy throughout the years, $5 million of which they will use to build the network of secondary schools, according to the release. The academy will not use undergraduate tuition funds or other funds for the school, Hampton added.

The University will admit students from middle- and low-income families, in addition to faculty members’ children, to ensure the school’s student body is diverse. Geffen’s donation will also fund a financial aid program for about 40 percent of the students who attend, according to the press release.

“Data has shown the best learning environments are those that are diverse,” said Chancellor Gene Block. “This is a chance to get a slice of Los Angeles and bring in a whole set of experiences that will be valuable to students.”

Carole Goldberg, vice chancellor of academic personnel, said the academy can improve faculty recruitment and retention at UCLA because it would be convenient for faculty members to send their children to school in Westwood.

“Faculty at UCLA care deeply about education for their own children,” she said. “Educational opportunities are a major consideration when they decide whether to come to or remain at UCLA.”

Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, dean of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, said he hopes the academy’s students can use UCLA’s resources.

“I believe students (will be able to) take advantage of UCLA courses, labs and athletic facilities at the university,” he said.

Suárez-Orozco added some students from the UCLA Lab School, a pilot elementary school that includes students from preschool through eighth grade, will move on to attend the academy.

Goldberg said the school aims to prepare students for college, but the academy’s graduates will not be given preferential treatment during the UCLA admission process.

Faculty and staff in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies will be involved in the planning for the academy, Suárez-Orozco said.

The new school is part of a larger plan to create a network of community schools, which currently consist of the Lab School and Community School, Suárez-Orozco said. Graduate School of Education and Information Studies GSEIS is also in the process of creating a new community school in South Los Angeles to expand the network.

As the academy expands, UCLA will build another structure adjacent to the Kinross building. UCLA will look for alternative locations for KREC, Hampton said. Specifics of the academy such as the application process, what faculty will be hired and the cost of attendance have not been decided.

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Reyes is the Daily Bruin's News editor and an Editorial Board member. Previously, she was the Science & Health editor covering research, the UCLA health system and graduate school news. She also writes Arts & Entertainment stories and photographs for the Bruin.

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  • TW

    So will KREC be closed during the renovation? That would be pretty bad for grad students.

  • Reg

    It took them forever to finally open KREC, which was delayed over and over. I imagine everyone will be stuck with the Wooden Center temporarily until they find a replacement facility…last time, “temporarily” meant nearly two years! Not dealing with that kind of inconvenience this time, UCLA Recreation – make sure you get your act together.

    • TW

      Completely agree this is the most likely scenario. Really shows lack of respect for grad students.

  • http://batman-news.com/ Cummbottom

    When many attend with enthusiasm Pride events: ask yourself where is care. From affluent LGBTQ where divided David donated many gifts educational,medical science and engineering nothing to LGBTQ organizations
    I forgotten only few. To remember they where dismal amounts as Prop 8 (Marriage Equality) 2008 only what to discuss with a fuss $50,000 your prerogative media reverts you as champion for whom? Gloom nearing David,
    quest educational success under privilege students ratio, deprived denied LGBTQ high this not of your interest
    what reading. Superficial hierarchy among, LGBTQ society don’t go there with advocates: mention (forums) not incline to participate reason benefiting from bigotry towards LGBTQ! David owns billions in realty urban planning of southern California REITS,LLC and SIIS making profits conservative LGBTQ supporting “Ellis Act”
    as EJ jr son of Magic Johnson owns Cayon/Johnson Urban Fund. While LGBTQ rejoice “Pride Shows” minor few, affluent Ellen,Anderson Cooper,Scott Wiener,Jason Streisand,Chris Hughes and Tim Cook impartial. Gift
    only few could benefit lives of LGBTQ society medical science why is there discrimination. Employment David,
    high among personal especially men and transgenders your donations contribute hiding lies of repeal whom enemy fair insurance coverage. America for LGBTQ insurance firms,Congress and pharmaceutical firms David,
    you have stocks in them far remove reality of bigotry. I thank you for donations, ignore LGBTQ community wow!