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Molina Pushes for Sale of Federal Site to East LA Charter School

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a plan to sell unused county administrative buildings in East Los Angeles to a charter school for kindergarten through eighth-grade students.

KIPP Charter Schools is expected to sign a two-year lease and purchase agreement for the 2.6-acre property at 4800 E. Cesar Chavez Ave., subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The facilities had been used by Housing Authority personnel, but those staffers have been relocated to Alhambra.

Supervisor Gloria Molina, who recommended the sale, said the disposition of the property was in line with the 2011 White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative.

“The NRI states that neighborhoods of opportunity are neighborhoods that contain high-quality schools, stable businesses, safe streets, affordable housing, cultural amenities, parks and recreational spaces,” Molina said. “It is my goal to realize this principle.”

KIPP LA Schools is a nonprofit organization that operates elementary and middle charter schools in South and East Los Angeles, preparing students in low-income communities for educational and lifetime success. Part of a national network, KIPP stands for Knowledge Is Power Program.

The nonprofit may reconfigure the existing buildings and construct a new building to accommodate additional classrooms.

About 24 percent of residents in the community surrounding the East Los Angeles site are under the age of 14, according to Molina.

If approved, the sales proceeds will be used to fund improvements at the Nueva Maravilla public housing development.