For at least two years, the Beverly Hills Unified School District has been using Measure E funds intended for school renovations and improvements to fund parts of what’s proven to be a losing battle against Metro’sPurple Line subway extension, which will run under Beverly Hills
High School. Now the LA Register reveals that they’ve spent at least $3 million of government cheese on their fight against what everyone but them can see is inevitable (not to mention freaking necessary). BHUSD is only supposed to spend those funds on specific projects on an approved list, which surprisingly enough did not include waging a war against the subway. Previously, school officials had maintained that the fight against Metro was a school improvement issue, but they never formally made it one by putting it on a “specific master list” that might explain how in the hell their legal drama is related to school repairs.
“I think all of us on the board would agree that we’ve spent too much money on this,” says the Board of Education president, whose big fear now is that Metro will somehow wield ultimate power over the school and any future improvements. “It will be best if we just stay clear of each other.” This begrudging concession echoes the BH City Council’s recent cave-in; around the same time two of the city and school district’s four lawsuits were dismissed, the council finally handed over permits to start work on the line (which they’d been taking their sweet time on). Meanwhile, the district and city do still have those two federal lawsuits to fall back on, but it seems like you’re wearin’ ‘em down, Metro!
As reality slowly sets in that the Purple Line is going to be built and it’s going to run under the high school no matter what, perhaps the school district can focus on, you know, actual improvements to the school. A recent audit showed, as of June 2013, only one major project (an auditorium renovation) had been completed in the five years since the measure passed.