Page D2.1 . 25 October 2006                     
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    LA Color School

    by Allison Milionis

    From her desk, Dena Primary Center principal Patricia Romero can watch children playing in the central courtyard. She also uses the vantage point to admire this new campus that is nestled in a densely populated neighborhood of East Los Angeles. Rachlin Architects have designed an elliptical amphitheater-style courtyard bordered by an administrative complex and two multipurpose buildings.

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    "My school is a jewel," says Romero. Located in a largely Hispanic East Los Angeles neighborhood where well armed gangs battle over territory, Dena is a brightly colored beacon of hope. Since opening in September 2005, the school has inspired a small but palpable change in the neighborhood.

    "There's been a rebirth in the community," says Romero, who grew up in the area. Even the gangs respect the campus. "Although they do mark the [perimeter] fence," she adds.   >>>

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    Courtyard and administration building of the Dena Primary Center, East Los Angeles, by Rachlin Architects.
    Photo: Christopher Covey

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    Library Interior.
    Photo: Christopher Covey


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