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Johnston alumni protest moving Eastside Memorial to give LASA campus

A group of Johnston High School alumni on Saturday are opposing preliminary plans to move the nationally ranked Liberal Arts and Science Academy out of LBJ High School to become a stand-alone school on the Johnston campus in East Austin.

The plans are being considered as part of a bond proposal expected to go before voters in November.

Eastside Memorial High School, currently housed at the former Johnston High campus, would move the Alternative Learning Center site, formerly the original L.C. Anderson High School, in a completely revamped campus that would house a small high school for about 850 Eastside students.

The alumni are opposing the change, saying they are “appalled that the school board made a hasty decision,” without sufficient community input. The members will host a press conference on Saturday at the school to protest the plans.

Eastside — which begins its early college program in the fall, offering students a chance to earn an associate degree in high school — will be located across the street from an Austin Community College campus, giving students better access to classes there.

Trustee Jayme Mathias, who represents the east and southeast area of the district that includes Eastside, said Thursday that the idea of building a new high school for the Eastside Memorial students “is an idea that is sparking excitement and interest in East Austin. When I talk to people about building a new high school in East Austin, they say to do this. Let’s build a school these kids deserve.”

The move would mean LASA would become a stand-alone high school with the ability to grow to up to 2,000 students, about double its current enrollment.

The LASA and Eastside Memorial moves were among various projects trustees hammered out during a four-hour discussion Wednesday night in formulating the bond package.

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