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Harvard-Westlake Shelves Controversial Parking Lot/Sky Bridge And Acquires Nearby Golf Course
Harvard-Westlake's controversial plans to construct a three-story, 750-car parking garage and Coldwater Canyon-spanning sky bridge have been put on hold, as the tony private school announced the acquisition of a nearby 16-acre Studio City golf course.
In an email sent to school alumni, Harvard-Westlake President and Head of School Rick Commons said that the school had entered into an agreement to purchase Weddington Golf & Tennis, which is located less than a mile from Harvard-Westlake’s Coldwater Canyon upper school campus. The property, which has been privately owned for more than a century by the Weddington family, is bounded by Whitsett Avenue and the Los Angeles River. The school plans to spend several years developing the nine-hole golf course, a driving range, and 16 tennis courts into the "Harvard-Westlake Community Athletics Center" over the next few years, which will "offer athletic and recreational opportunities to our students and to the Studio City community."
"Plans for the PSA Project as currently designed will be placed on hold, and we look forward to meeting with members of the community during this time," Commons wrote—the PSA Project in question being the giant parking structure that the neighbors were furious about.
City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, whose district includes Studio City, praised the school's decision in a statement. "I’m glad that Harvard-Westlake is shelving its plans to build a parking structure across the street from its Coldwater campus," Krekorian said. "They deserve credit for listening to the serious concerns that the community and I raised about the project, and their announced agreement to purchase Weddington Golf & Tennis shows they are ready to move in another direction.”
"As Harvard-Westlake moves forward with its new plans, I will continue to advocate for Weddington to remain an environmental, aesthetic and recreational asset to the community, and I look forward to working with the school and the surrounding community to make sure that happens," Krekorian continued.
The school has said that they plan to allow public access to portions of the athletics center and make improvements to the property adjacent to the L.A. River trail as part of their plans.