Los Angeles, CA In late December 2004 the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) began demolishing approximately one-third of the new and never occupied Belmont High School campus which has cost taxpayers $238 million to build with another $110 million for partial demolition and reconstruction.
The demolition of Belmont went virtually unnoticed by the Los Angeles news media and the community because it took place just a few days before Christmas when most people were preoccupied wrapping holiday gifts and attending to activities of the season.
The LAUSD Facilities Division refused the FULL DISCLOSURE NETWORK requests to gain access to the site to videotape the demolition activity. The entire site was blocked off to the public view by chain-link fences covered with a green tarp and topped with barbed wire—the full perimeter. Some of the demolished buildings were built atop an earthquake fault on the 35-acre site in downtown Los Angeles, formerly known as the Los Angeles Oil Field, which is plagued with toxic hazards such as methane gas and hydrogen sulfide.
However, the Full Disclosure Cable Television Network was able to shoot aerial video footage of the demolition which will show an exclusive video of the destruction of the controversial Belmont High School buildings. Experts estimate that with the cost to remediate the toxic hazards, cost overruns and change orders, the final cost of Belmont (renamed Vista Hermosa) could come to half a billion dollars.