For almost two decades the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) had planned to build new public schools on the land occupied by the now-demolished Ambassador Hotel. The construction of these desperately needed schools would create classrooms for more than 4,000 students and would go a long way toward relieving the severe overcrowded conditions and enhancing students’ educational opportunities.
In October 2007, the Los Angeles Conservancy filed a motion to enjoin or stop further demolition of certain historic features of the former hotel resulting in a delay of school construction. MALDEF joined the LAUSD to oppose the motion. MALDEF represented the interests of LAUSD students and parents who endure overcrowded schools and would benefit from the new schools planned for the Ambassador Hotel site.
At the hearing in November 2007, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs indicated her inclination to stop the construction and scheduled a trial for early in 2008. In December 2007, the parties settled the lawsuit where the LAUSD agreed to pay four million dollars into a trust to preserve historical features on school sites and the Conservancy agreed to dismiss its lawsuit and cause no further delays to construction. In January 2008, the Conservancy dismissed its action, and MALDEF dismissed its complaint in intervention.
This successful resolution helps clear the way for the construction of three new schools in one of the most severely overcrowded regions of the LAUSD and for better educational opportunities for the students of Los Angeles.