February 21, 2017

A Landmark Event

Friday, January 27, 2017 was a landmark event for Oakwood School as we celebrated the much-anticipated opening of our new secondary school pedestrian bridge.

By 9:30am, the Old Senior Lot was full of students, faculty, staff, community members, government officials, trustees, and donors all gathered at the foot of a stairway heading up to the new 115 foot bridge connecting the north and south sides of our secondary school campus.

After the Oakwood Brass Band played the crowd a spirited set of songs, Headmaster Jim Astman opened with remarks recalling the history and hard work of many behind this project with a special moment of recognition given to the bridge’s designer, renowned architect and alumni parent, Brenda Levin.  State Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian and Councilman’s Director of Planning and the Environment Karo Torossian, who were instrumental in expediting the construction of the bridge, then offered their words about the positive partnership between Oakwood and our neighboring community that helped to make this bridge a reality. Next, Oakwood Board Chair Marta Kauffman added her own reflections of gratitude and excitement before turning the ceremony over to William Perkins Tift, Secondary School Principal. William kicked off the bridge-crossing segment of the celebration with instructions to the eager crowd about the order of procession. Finally, to huge applause from all in attendance,  Jim and Marta cut the ceremonial ribbon.

With the bridge officially open, the Brass Band headed up the stairs to lead our Student Council Co-Presidents and the class of 2017 above and across Magnolia Boulevard for the first time. Each class and their advisors followed in order from eleventh to seventh grade. Teachers, staff, trustees, and special guests then crossed, many stopping to take in a never-before-seen view of Oakwood.

Click through the gallery below for images from the event.

This day was the culmination of years of planning and an exciting past few months that began in June of 2016 when nearly 100 Oakwood parents and staff members filled the City Council Chambers in Downtown Los Angeles in support of the City Planning Commission’s unanimous approval of Oakwood’s full master plan, giving its strong endorsement to building the pedestrian bridge over Magnolia Blvd.

Construction began in earnest this past summer and fall as sixty foot deep pilings were drilled and dropped into the earth and materials were delivered that would become the north and south connecting points for the bridge. As teachers and students arrived on campus for the 2016-2017 school year, they saw the project take shape as stairs were set in place, cement was poured, and the elevator and machine rooms were erected.

On November 15, 2016, the full bridge span was trucked overnight from Santa Fe Springs, CA and delivered to its staging area on Lemp Street where work crews would prepare it for installation. On December 13, the full bridge span was dramatically craned high above Magnolia Blvd and set into place, connecting the north and south sides of our secondary campus for the first time. Once in place, the bridge’s finishing touches continued to be added, finally bringing this beautiful new landmark to its completion in the new year.

Support our capital campaign for the Magnolia Boulevard pedestrian bridge.
To learn more about this landmark project, please contact
Nancy Leptuch Virrey, Director of Advancement, at 818-732-3174.