The Trenching, and the Spin, Go on in Beverly Hills

The scene at Beverly Hills High School. Photo: Joel Epstein

Local news outlets in Beverly Hills reported last week that with 80% of the trenching completed on the Beverly Hills Campus that thus far the trenching has found no active faults anywhere on the Beverly Hills campus. The remaining trenching will be completed on the northern part of campus along Heath Avenue.

Before a final report can be read and analyzed it’s too soon to say anything definitive about the current study, but that hasn’t stopped supporters and opponents of the Westside Subway alignment under the high school from weighing in.

For proponents of the route under the high school, they see victory in the preliminary findings. After all, if there are no faults under ground surrounding the high school, and there are faults along the alternate route on Santa Monica Boulevard, then there’s only one sensible place to put the subway…right under the high school.

But the Beverly Hills Unified School District has smartly abandoned the argument that the train should run under Santa Monica Boulevard, recognizing that Metro’s report on faults along the Boulevard have insured that Metro won’t be tunneling in that area. Rather than arguing for a route away from the High School, the plan is now to either kill the subway or get Metro to pay the school richly for the tunnel.

Because Metro’s geologic report found faults inside the Beverly Hills School property the School District is assuming that the value of the property would be appraised lower than what the BHUSD feels it should be and concluded the school would not be able to do any future expansion. Thus, the compensation Metro would owe the school for building the tunnel would be relatively small. However, if Metro was incorrect in assessing the faults, than the compensation to Beverly Hills would be quite a bit larger.

Metro’s initial reports actually claim that the tunnel for the subway won’t impact the school’s expansion plans, but the school district’s fears about the tunnel’s impacts on their ability to expand has been at the core of their opposition to a route under the high school.

The Beverly Hills Courier, the public relations arm of subway opponents the most read newspaper in Beverly Hills, explains:

The new trenching shows no evidence that the site is impaired for future building. However, if the tunnel is built new construction will be prohibited. The MTA would not only have to pay BHUSD for the impairment, but if the tunnel renders the school site unusable for the future that alone could prohibit MTA from building the tunnel.

When more detailed results are available, Streetsblog will be sure to cover it all. In the meantime, it’s become clear that the battle over the subway has reached a new level. It’s no longer about routing, but about the survival of the project.

  • Greg

    I don’t know if the Courier is the most read.  At my job we get around 50 copies a week.  We throw away about 48 of them when the new shipment comes in.  Actually we recycle it in the Bev Hills trash can that says it sorts everything for you so that you don’t have to sort your trash.

  • Simon

    This description is a bit dramatic–even if issue impairs the subway to Century City, which it almost certaintly won’t since that would go against the promises of Measure R, it would still travel to Rodeo Dr–and that’s an absolute worst-case scenario.

  • Sssamtaylor

    Damien:

    Your conclusions are just totally wrong. BHHS is going to stand on its head and spit wooden nickels. It won’t stop the subway. Have you been attending the Beverly Hills Courier advanced investigative journalism courses?

    Sam.

  • Anonymous

    Those BHHS people are really annoying. All they are doing is costing us money all in the name of Bordom. Find something better to do PLEASE! Go shopping, go buy a car or take part in some of those extra curricular activities that seem to be entertaining people in your parts per recent incidents as shown in reality shows of your kind. . . . *ehem*

  • ExBevHills
  • I said their plan was to stop the project…not that it would be succesful…It is a strategy switch from the original plan to get the route re-routed…

  • Tiquetloisir

    We cannot allow the few (Beverly Hills) take away from the many (LA County). Alternative solutions to the purple line extension should be pursued rather than complete abandonment! I hope the “many” rise up to this!

  • Downeflip

    What does BHHS expect to build under the high school?? an underground parking garage??? Which fuckin high school in the damn world has an underground parking garage…. wtf?? they do not need all that spaces.