Eastsiders should know that Garfield High School’s historic auditorium looks the same after an arson fire destroyed it almost 2 1/2 years ago. The LAT finds out that despite benefit concerts and donations, LAUSD and insurance companies are at odds over rebuilding it from the ground up, or reconstructing what remains of the historic building. They detail the debate:
L.A. Unified contends that the 1925 auditorium needs to be rebuilt from the ground to meet state building codes. But nine insurers insist that the walls are salvageable and could support a new building, district officials said. The difference in cost is considerable.
Demolition was to have been completed this fall, with construction beginning next year. Despite the uncertainty of recovering costs — estimated by the district at $46 million — designs for a new auditorium are almost complete and will be submitted soon for state approval, said facilities chief Guy Mehula. But in a further hitch, Garfield’s main administration building, which is attached to the auditorium, must be retrofitted to meet earthquake standards, and officials have not determined the level of demolition needed.
The only payouts so far have been for the cost of designs that would return the historic assembly hall to resemble its former self.Â More words and pics atÂ [Insurance dispute takes center stage in auditorium drama]