Five San Fernando Valley schools will be fast-tracked under Superintendent Ramon Cortines’ plan to renovate 11 campuses across the Los Angeles Unified School District, it was reported Wednesday.

The upgrades will bring additional classroom space and updated technology, with details to be hammered out later this year in meetings with staff, students and parents, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. If all goes as planned, the projects should be completed in five years.

North Hollywood High School sits atop Cortines’ list, according to the Daily News. Built in 1927, the school boasts grand columns, and from Magnolia Boulevard, the main building appears suited for the campus of an East Coast Ivy League university.

“It’s a really wonderful school,” Assistant Principal Carrie Schwartz told the Daily News. “I love the architecture.”

But after passing through its grand entrance, there’s a hodgepodge of flooring and ceiling tiles from different eras. Stained and frayed carpets contribute to a musty odor. And below those unsightly problems lurk major deficiencies in essential systems.

A ranking of 59 schools conducted last year to prioritize the first round of bond spending put North Hollywood High at No. 1. Inspections of the roof, electrical, plumbing and other essential systems revealed the campus was “critical” with 61.7 percent of its systems deficient.

San Fernando Valley schools up for renovations are North Hollywood High School, Van Nuys High School, Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley, Cleveland High School in Reseda and Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies in Tarzana.

Rounding out Cortines’ list of 11 schools across LAUSD’s 933 campuses are: Huntington Park High School, Roosevelt High School, San Pedro High School, John Burroughs Middle School, Venice High School and Jefferson High School.

The 11 schools were chosen based on their earthquake safety, space relative to students, security and the number of so-called “portable” buildings, the Daily News reported.

— City News Service

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