July 14, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Archer School Proposes Facility Upgrade

Last year The Archer School for Girls introduced a plan to improve its Brentwood campus and provide necessary facilities for its students and programs. The plan is called Archer Forward: Campus Preservation and Improvement Plan. Key features of the Archer Forward plan include:

• An all-pedestrian campus which moves all parking and arrival and departure activity underground
• A multipurpose facility with middle and upper school gyms and assembly space
• Performing and visual arts space
• Regulation playing fields and aquatics center
• Additional gardens and green space
• Modernized classrooms
• An environmentally sustainable campus that uses green technologies to significantly reduce energy use and other environmental impacts.

Central to Archer Forward is the preservation of the School’s beautiful historic building that was once the Eastern Star Home and respect for its location in a residential area. Since Archer moved to the Brentwood campus in 1999, it has operated under a comprehensive Conditional Use Permit (CUP). It will continue to do so and, further, will not ask for an increase in its enrollment cap. Archer will also continue its exemplary traffic management program.

What this plan means for residents of Brentwood:

As it did as part of its initial entitlement, Archer again intends to work with the community to spearhead other neighborhood improvement initiatives, aiming, for example, to discourage cut-through traffic on Chaparal, Barrington (north of Sunset) and Westgate (north of Sunset) so access is improved for residents. If neighbors support it, Archer will also work to create a “no parking zone†on one side of Chaparal and hopes to install a curb on the southern side of the street.

Archer has a model transportation system and currently buses over 80% of its students every day, with the rest of the students enrolled in the carpooling program. The school is interested in expanding this program by helping to create a West LA School Transportation Collaborative. This would call for shared busing among independent schools in the neighborhood and rideshare and carpooling standards for ALL schools in the area.

Other aspects of the plan that will benefit the community include:

• Underground parking will reduce arrival and departure noise as well as provide adequate parking so families and students do not have to park at the VA Lot and cross Sunset Blvd.
• Ample planting of mature trees to make the neighborhood greener.
• New facilities, including a performing arts center, a pool, and a gymnasium that Archer is willing to make available for community use throughout the year if the community approves.
• Reduced bus trips in the afternoon by keeping the girls on campus for athletic and performing arts activities.

How to learn more:
Archer has created a new website www.ArcherForward.org to provide information and updates on Archer Forward. As the public process advances, it will also continue to provide links to City documents.

The school’s outreach to the community has been extensive. To date, Archer has held 20 meetings with community groups and neighbors. The school has also mailed more than 10,000 letters to the surrounding community and knocked on over 100 doors. More than 1,500 local residents and members of the Archer family have signed up to support Archer Forward. If you haven’t already, you can sign up to be on Archer’s email list at ArcherForward.org.

This year, Archer also initiated the Archer Chat program where neighbors who have not seen a presentation about Archer Forward can come to the School and learn more about the plan. The next chat is scheduled for April 10.

Timing of the City of Los Angeles Review Process:

Per the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is being prepared for this project. The EIR identifies and evaluates any potentially significant environmental impacts of the project and identifies ways to minimize or eliminate them. City officials must approve the EIR before construction can begin.

The City approval process began with the release of the Notice of Preparation in the fall of 2011 and the scoping meeting, held in January 2012. The City is expected to release a draft EIR for review in the late spring of 2013. Governmental agencies and members of the public can review and comment on the document. Later, a final EIR will be prepared, with any corrections and additions to the Draft EIR and responses to comments. Public hearings will then be held before the Hearing Examiner and Planning Commission. Approval is the final step before the improvement work can begin.

Letter from Elizabeth English, Archer’s Head of School

The Archer School for Girls is proud of our landmark, historic building where we have educated thousands of girls since moving to Brentwood in 1999. But today we find ourselves challenged to deliver a 21st-century education in this solitary building that dates back to 1931. Nearly all Archer students are involved in the arts, athletics and other extracurricular activities, but these activities strain the capacity of our current fields and building. Simply put, Archer needs a 21st-century campus to continue fulfilling its critical educational mission now and in the future.

Archer Forward, our Campus Preservation and Improvement Plan, is our roadmap to securing this future. The Plan has been carefully designed to respect our residential neighborhood as we invest in making our one building into a school campus that has the essential facilities other comparable schools currently have. Importantly, and in contrast to other schools that have gone through this process or will do so in the near future, Archer is NOT seeking to increase enrollment.

We strongly believe that our plan will add value to the Brentwood area. Having a nationally recognized independent girls’ school is of great value to the Brentwood community and to Los Angeles. Improving the Archer facility enables us to advance and sustain our mission, which includes awarding extensive scholarships. With adequate facilities, Archer hopes to attract even more girls from our local neighborhoods so they don’t have to commute across town to school.

When we arrived in Brentwood we made a commitment to the community to be a good neighbor, and we have lived up to that commitment. Archer values the relationships we have developed with the community over the last decade and will continue to work to preserve and improve those relationships, including continuing our Neighbor Liaison program.

I encourage everyone to visit www.ArcherForward.org to learn more about our plans and follow our progress. Since beginning the public process in the fall of 2011, Archer has worked closely with the community, and we look forward to maintaining an open dialogue with our neighbors as the Archer Forward process unfolds.

Elizabeth English
Head of School
The Archer School for Girls



Head of School Elizabeth English talks sports with some students

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