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Start the Countdown to a Court Date. Trenching at Beverly Hills High School Reaches the End

8:35 AM PST on February 24, 2012

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

During yesterday's Metro Board Meeting, CEO Art Leahy reported that the Beverly Hills Unified School District would not allow Metro's experts to take advantage of the ongoing trenching studies going on at Beverly Hills High School, which are scheduled to end this weekend, without paying a cool $500,000 to the School District.  The trenching process is part of a study being conducted on behalf of the school district to respond to an earlier geotechnical study by a team of experts paid for by Metro that found that the safest place to run the Westside Subway was under a portion of the Beverly Hills High School Property.

“We’re not going to do that,” Leahy said of the $500,000 entrance fee.

The request for access was made over the phone to the School District's lawyer by Metro staff who responded with the funding request.  Neither side has an audio copy of the conversation, and given that the trenching ends this weekend there is no paper trail connected to the request.

For its part, the School District contends that because they had to complete this expensive study because Metro's report was "so flawed" that Metro should help bear the cost of the trenching if they want to send in their own experts.  A statement from the School District reads:

“The Beverly Hills Unified School District is very concerned about purported faults under Beverly Hills High School, and has spent a considerable amount of time and money investigating Metro’s claims.  The school board was open to allowing Metro consultants access to the trenching at Beverly Hills High School, as it did to other experts including staff from the California Geologic Survey.  However, because the significant costs incurred were a direct a result of a suspect Metro study, the board asked that Metro offset some of the cost.”

The latest war of words between Metro and the BHSD only reinforces our position from the last time we wrote about the Westside Subway fight in Beverly Hills.  The debate over where to run the subway won't be decided by planners or Metro Staff, but by a judge.

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