Photos by Stephen K. Peeples/SCVTV, May 14, 2019; see below for more
Video by Mitchell Braxton/SCVTV, May 15, 2019
Demolition started Tuesday, May 14, 2019, on the former Albert Einstein Academy school buildings in Valencia in preparation for the property's redevelopment into a two-story medical office complex.
The buildings have been put to a variety of uses since the closure of the charter school campus in the summer of 2018. Last weekend the Los Angeles County Fire Department used them for training on attic fires (without setting them alight); in preceding weeks a number of Southland law enforcement agencies used them for active-shooter response training.
The buildings at the northwest corner of Orchard Village and Wiley Canyon roads (25421 and 25443 Orchard) date to the mid-1970s when Pinecrest Schools came to Valencia. Founded in Van Nuys in 1951, by 1975, in terms of square footage, Pinecrest was the nation's largest chain of private, non-parochial schools, with six campuses in the San Fernando Valley.
Pinecrest opened a preschool on the Valencia property in 1973, followed by an elementary school building that was completed in 1975. Pinecrest offered pre-K through sixth-grade instruction through the end of the 2015-2016 school year when money woes shuttered the whole chain.
Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts and Sciences opened on the Pinecrest campus in the fall of 2014 after shopping around for a home — and a charter. After the Newhall and Saugus elementary school districts turned it down, it won the approval of the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District, 20 miles away from its Valencia campus, which sat in the shadow of the Newhall School District's administrative offices — to the latter's chagrin. At the end of the 2017-2018 school year, Einstein closed its school in Valencia, citing an inability to find a financial partner and develop a plan to sustain operations.
Over the course of the next three weeks or so, an Intertex subcontractor will be removing the buildings — and presumably any hard feelings that went with them — and paving a new future for the 2.82-acre property. (Actually, Intertex will be removing the pavement, too, taking it down to the dirt.)
Craig Peters and Sam Glendon of CBRE are marketing the property as a future two-story, 41,244-square-foot medical office building just blocks from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital —
with a new address of 25425 Orchard Village Road, 206 parking spaces, suites down to 5,000 square feet for sale or lease, and an expected completion date of spring 2020.
Below: Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Photos by Stephen K. Peeples/SCVTV