Tag Archives: closure

St. John Paul II Academy Will Replace Bell-Jeff High in 2019

After 74 years, Bellarmine-Jefferson High School has officially closed its doors. However, the building will soon take on a new life as “St. John Paul II STEM Academy at Bellarmine-Jefferson” starting August 2019.

Kevin Baxter, superintendent of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, revealed the plans last Tuesday when he announced the hiring of founding director, Jeff Hilger.

The Academy will incorporate STEM, a curriculum that includes science, technology, engineering, and math.

Most classes will be co-educational but there will also be some gender-specific courses. According to research, Baxter claims single-gender learning can be a more effective way of teaching in some subjects.

Although there will not be any major remodels to the campus over the next year, maintenance upgrades will be made along with some aesthetic redesigns.

Hilger also hopes to add an engineering room, a media arts center, and a music room.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese expects an inaugural freshman class of 60 students. They currently plan to add a new grade level annually, until the student body reaches 400-500 students in 2022-23.

The school’s name comes from St. John Paul II, a pope who visited Los Angeles in 1987, and returned to the United States multiple times throughout his career. Until now, there hasn’t been a school named after him.

Baxter hopes the Academy will provide the community with an affordable private Catholic school experience.

Bellarmine-Jefferson High School is located on 465 E. Olive Ave.

Alumni Outcry Over Bell-Jeff High Closure

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

After 73 years, Bellarmine-Jefferson High will be closing at the end of the school year to examine issues of low enrollment and increased operating cost. If a restructure can solve the school’s decline in the student body and benefit financially, Bell-Jeff is expected to reopen for the 2019-2020 school year.

Although it is the hope for Bell-Jeff to resume classes after the closure, many are worried this might not happen. Several alumni have voiced sadness and frustration over that possibility.

“As an alumnus, I would be heartbroken if Bell-Jeff were to close,” said Andrew McCratic, who graduated class of 2008. “Bell-Jeff has always been a very close-knit and family oriented environment.”

“I also feel as a person who grew up in Burbank for the majority of my life that if Bell-Jeff closes, Burbank will be losing a part of its history. Bell-Jeff is the second oldest high school in Burbank and generations of people have walked through those doors.”

Bell-Jeff High School opened in 1944 and became an Archdiocesan administered school in 1980.

Citing the school’s lack of involvement within the surrounding community as a contributing factor to low enrollment rates, McCratic believes an increased presence in the city would be beneficial to implement in the restructure.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“When I was going to Bell-Jeff we would ring bells for the Salvation Army during Christmastime,” said McCratic. “The more exposure the school has in the community will hopefully lead to more parents choosing to enroll their children…”

McCratic has started an online petition, which is currently halfway to its goal of 1,000 signatures. Many of the comments written by the petition’s supporters express the devastation of alumni and faculty alike.

“I am extremely upset over the closing of the school,” said Therese Dungereaux Hier, alumni from the class of 1982.

“The education that so many of us received there was and is priceless. My experiences there have stayed with me my whole life. Sending me there was one of the best things my parents could have done for me.”

Dungereaux Hier’s sisters and cousin also graduated from Bell-Jeff, and her mother taught at the school for over a decade.

When asked for ways the school could improve, McCratic and Dungereaux Hier both offered similar answers, suggesting advanced media programs should be provided, being that the school is located in the “Media Capital of the World.”

As Bell-Jeff approaches the closure, administrators will be talking with families so that freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are able to transfer to other Catholic high schools in the area. Faculty and staff are also on the search for positions at surrounding schools.

“We have excellent teachers and students at Bell-Jeff, and our utmost priority is to assist them in finding other Catholic high schools in the area in which to teach and learn,” said Dr. Kevin Baxter, Senior Director and Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

“Students will be given priority status in enrolling at local Catholic high schools, as well as transitional tuition assistance and reimbursement for new uniforms.”

5 Freeway in Burbank to Experience Full Closure

What: I-5 will be closed in both directions between Buena Vista Street and Lincoln Street in Burbank on Sunday, April 13, 2014, 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. See map below.

When: Lane closures will begin at 11:59 p.m. on April 12. All lanes will be closed by 2 a.m. on April 13 and will open by 4 a.m.

Why: The closure is necessary to ensure the safety of motorists and crews while overhead utility lines are removed as part of the Empire Project.

Alternate Routes: To avoid delays, consider using SR-170 instead of I-5. Motorists heading northbound on I-5 can take westbound SR-134 to northbound SR-170. Those traveling southbound can take southbound SR-170 at the I-5/SR-170 interchange, and then eastbound SR-134 to pick up southbound I-5.

Detour: A clearly marked detour will direct motorists who are diverted off I-5 during the closure and those seeking to access the freeway from local streets.

Signs: Electronic freeway signs will provide advance warning to motorists to allow them to avoid the closure area if desired.

I5 closed

Third Street by City Hall to Close Until Monday

A one block section of N. Third Street between E. Orange Grove Avenue and E. Olive Avenue in Downtown Burbank will be closed to vehicle traffic for three days this weekend.

The street will close at 8:00 AM Friday, September 20, 2013, to allow work crews to replace concrete panels. The street will remain closed until 10:00 AM on Monday, September 22, 2013, while the fresh concrete cures over the weekend.

The sidewalks along the one block section of N. Third Street will remain open. The closure will not affect the weekly Burbank Farmers Market in the City Hall parking lot which will maintain its regular hours of operation from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM on Saturday, September 21, 2013.

Caltrans Closes Alameda Offramp for Two Months

As part of the improvements, crews will be removing the existing asphalt pavement on northbound I-5 Alameda Avenue off-ramp and replacing it with concrete pavement. This work will also accommodate the addition of the new carpool lanes for the widening of the freeway. A long-term closure of northbound I-5 eastbound and westbound Alameda Avenue off-ramps will be necessary to complete this work. Sunday, December 9, 2012 through Friday, February 8, 2013   9 p.m. to 6 a.m. (60-day continuous closure).

(See map below for detours.) (Southbound Alameda Avenue off-ramp closure is on-going.)

Caltrans will make every effort to minimize any inconvenience to you. You may hear construction noise, but it will not exceed levels allowed by state and federal regulations.

Truck Crash on 5 Freeway Closes Lanes in Both Direction During Rush Hour

Burbank Firefighters work to clean up a diesel spill that resulted in a major accident that closed the I-5 in both directions Friday afternoon.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Fire units received a call at 5:05 pm of a major truck accident on the southbound 5 Freeway at Hollywood Way.

Upon arriving at the scene, they found a tow truck, SUV and big rig had been involved in a accident and the can of the big rig had crashed through the cement center barrier of the freeway and was resting in the northbound lanes of the freeway.

While all three vehicles received heavy damage, there were no reported injuries, but the real concern turned to the diesel tanks of the big rig which were spilling diesel fuel across the northbound lanes.  All lanes in both directions were at a complete stop.

Burbank Firefighters work on containing a HazMat spill that resulted from the traffic accident northbound I-5 at Hollywood Way. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s Battalion Chief called for the Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) trucks from both Burbank and Glendale to respond to assist in stopping and cleaning up the fuel before it was  able to get into storm drains.  A check directly below on Hollywood Way showed that nothing had come through the freeway bridge above.

Once the spill was contained, officials opened one lane on each direction to start relieve the congestion until a trow truck was brought on scene to remove the truck cab, which once again closed lanes.

During the incident, Burbank streets such as Glenoaks and San Fernando quickly filled with motorists looking to get around the area.  Burbank police helped with traffic control.

Although the accident happened in Sun Valley, Burbank shares a mutual aid agreement with Los Angeles Fire and since Burbank was first to arrive on scene and had the situation under control before LA arrived because of traffic, they completed the incident.

CHP is in charge of the accident investigation, which is still on-going.

Burbank Firefighters clean up a Diesel spill on the northbound I-5 at Hollywood Way as a result of a major truck accident. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Library to Close for Seismic Work

The City of Burbank will be temporarily closing the Northwest Branch Library for a mandatory seismic retrofit starting on Wednesday, August 1, 2012.

The building at 3323 N. Victory Blvd. will undergo a number of improvements to make it both ADA
(American with Disabilities Act) compliant and earthquake-safe. The project is expected to be completed by Spring, 2013.

During the closure, library services will remain available at the city’s other locations: Burbank Central
Library, 110 N. Glenoaks Blvd.; and Buena Vista Library, 300 N. Buena Vista Street.

Any material checked out from the Northwest Branch that hasn’t been returned by July 31, may be
returned to either the Central or Buena Vista Libraries.

For further information, call 818-238-5600 or visit the library’s website at www.BurbankLibrary.com.

Mariposa Equestrian Bridge to be Closed During the Day on Monday, May 7

The Mariposa Horse bridge at Parkside will be CLOSED for repairs Monday May 7. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Los Angeles County Public Works will be supporting the City of Burbank by making repairs along the sides of the Mariposa Equestrian Bridge, which crosses the Los Angeles River, during the day on Monday, May 7, 2012. The bridge will be closed to horse and pedestrian traffic during this work.