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Dorsey High School To Receive New Sports Complex
After more than five years of advocacy by LAUSD Board Member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte and community stakeholders, Susan Miller Dorsey High School has been slated to receive a new sports complex and academic center.
Funds for the $30 million project were approved by the Board of Education and will come from voter-approved measures K, R, Y and eventually Q.
Built in 1937, Dorsey includes seven small learning communities and has been recognized nationally for several activities, including its Thurgood Marshall Courtroom and "Teen Court;" the production of the musical "Fela!" as well as its success in athletics, according to George Bartleson, Principal.
The new complex, including classrooms, will compliment the school's academic programs and will also be used for community activities.
Prior to the vote, LaMotte said "The facility is now a priority. This is not just a gym, it's about a learning center." She said Dorsey's stakeholders had been promised a new facility by LAUSD personnel for several years. She said she had become wary of the promises and urged the Board members to approve the project before them.
In addition to Bartleson, a parade of stakeholders spoke passionately before the Board in support of the motion.
Jevonte Davis, student leader and captain of the varsity wrestling team highlighted the school's academic performance, with a 65-point rise in API scores since 2006 and as such, he said, should receive the new construction. "Dorsey is on the rise academically, so why not follow the trend aesthetically," he said.
Asia Watts, 10th grade student and basketball player, said, "We deserve to be able to compete in a quality gym," with updated facilities and access to a restroom.
Twenty year teacher and basketball coach, Kevin Gibson used the analogy of a sports stadium that has out-lived its usefulness and needs to be re-built and said it is difficult to compete in an archaic facility. Among others things, he said the current gymnasium is not large enough to accommodate the number of spectators wishing to attend events and because of its small size, the economic possibilities for fundraising activities are currently limited. A larger facility would enable them to generate additional revenue to pay for much needed school projects.
Steve Bagby, Sr., President of the Dorsey Alumni association and member of Motivated Men support system at Dorsey and Michael Jones, Dorsey graduate and President of the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce also voiced their support.
Jones said, "our community is inextricably tied to this school and we look forward to this new complex."
The project is expected to be completed prior to the 2013 school year.