Demolition of five houses on Arden Blvd. north of Third St. was completed last month as Marlborough School begins the final phase of its growth and development project.
Razing of the houses was part of the $24 million Arden Project to improve the private, all-girls school in Hancock Park.
The expansion will add a new garden, an expanded soccer field, a fitness facility and a new state-of-the-art aquatics center.
The project began in the late 1990s after Marlborough tore down several houses to create an athletic field and parking lot. Since then, the school has acquired the remaining properties necessary for the project’s completion, which will double the size of the original campus.
A historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) was put into place for the neighborhood in 2005, but City Planning and the Office of Historic Resources determined the construction was grandfathered in following a 1999 conditional use permit for the expansion.
“We’ve worked on it for many years with the neighbors,” said Barbara Wagner, former head of school, in a 2014 interview with the Larchmont Chronicle, adding: “I think they feel like it’s been an interactive process and has worked out well. It’s a good situation for everyone.”
Will this development make traffic and parking worse in the neighborhood? Officials at Marlborough say “no.” The school’s parking lot will be reconfigured to provide a turnaround area that will significantly improve functionality and safety and allow for valet parking.
Officials expect construction to be completed for the opening of the 2016-17 school year.
For more information on the Arden Project, visit arden.marlborough.org.