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PARKING BILL FOR LAUSD: $1.5 MILLION.

Byline: Helen Gao Staff Writer

After spending $184.2 million to buy and renovate the controversial Beaudry Center to serve as its headquarters, the Los Angeles Unified School District is also shelling out more than $1.5 million each year to lease parking spots for employees and visitors, officials said Tuesday.

``Most of the buildings (downtown) do not have the parking required to accommodate current occupancy,'' said Ed Van Ginkel, a senior facility executive for the school district, defending the the district's need to pay for expensive parking outside its headquarters.

``There is a huge parking shortage,'' said Van Ginkel, noting that high- rises typically have only one or two parking spaces per one thousand square feet of space.

The school board Tuesday approved spending about $900,000 to lease a small parcel at 1221 W. Third St. for the next three years to provide up to 400 parking spots.

The parking spaces cost $90 each per month in the first six months, and $75 each per month for the remainder of the time.

The district is already spending more than $1.2 million a year to lease 1,166 parking spaces in three different locations, including the nearby Pacific Stock Exchange and the World Trade Center, the latter charging $125 per space per month.

School Board President Caprice Young said the district has no choice but to pay the price for parking because its labor agreements prohibit it from charging its employees a monthly fee. Many downtown employers, however, charge their employees for parking.

``It's true we pay more for our parking than other downtown employers,'' she said. ``Other downtown employers provide incentives - financial incentives - by making parking expensive for their employees, to get their employees to carpool. We certainly can be doing more of that.'' The Beaudry building, which features 928,000 square feet of space and will be fully occupied by LAUSD in 2006, only provides district employees 510 free parking spaces.

About 2,000 district employees now work out of the 29-story high-rise, which is expected to eventually accommodate about 3,000 workers.

Those who cannot park in the Beaudry building are assigned to park at the World Trade Center and the Pacific Stock Exchange - an inconvenience many have privately complained about.

Van Ginkel said leasing the West Third Street site could potentially help the district save money and make parking more convenient both for employees and visitors.

The district's plan is to direct employees who park in the pricey World Trade Center to the new lot starting in January.

The new lot will also serve visitors, whose parking in the Beaudry Center costs the district up to $14.30 per day. The district also pays extra for visitor parking on Boylston Avenue on days when school board meetings are held because the Beaudry building doesn't have sufficient parking spaces.

Van Ginkel acknowledged that the current parking arrangements are stop-gap measures and that the district ultimately needs to find a permanent solution.

The district's parking leases at the Pacific Stock Exchange and World Trade Center are both due to expire at the end of 2005. The district is considering whether to acquire an unfinished four-level parking structure attached to the Pacific Stock Exchange and building subterranean parking on the site of a nearby proposed high school.

``We have to find a long-term parking solution that has to be ready by 2006,'' Van Ginkel said. ``The long-term approach, hopefully, will be ownership. That will be the most cost-effective.''

In a separate action, the school board authorized staff to enter negotiations to buy a warehouse facility in the Pico Rivera Commerce Center.

Estimated to cost $32 million, the facility will consolidate warehousing operations, which are now spread out in several locations.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Date:Nov 27, 2002
Words:623
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