Amanda Keller-Konya  
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98th Street Elementary School,
Los Angeles, California

|  School's Out, Forever?  |

The 98th Street Elementary school was closed in 2004 due to population shifts within its immediate community.  Former Los Angeles mayor James Hahn developed a $9 billion plan to expand the Los Angeles International airport.  The airport expansion plan allotted $485 million to buy residents out of their homes to make room for the Manchester Square component of the expansion project.  The airport expansion plan illustrates the classic urban renewal equals urban removal model.  Once residents accepted the city’s offers on their properties surrounding LAX, the student population at 98th Street Elementary school greatly decreased.   In his comments regarding 98th Street Elementary School, Los Angles Unified School District Superintendent, Roy Romer stated, “It finally got to the point where it wasn’t viable for us to keep the school open for a small group of kids rattling around in an increasingly empty building.” 

After September 11, 2001 the LAX expansion program was placed on hold. Both the 98th Street Elementary school and many homes in the surrounding community remain vacant and are reminiscent of a ghost town.

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