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06/12/08

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Birmingham High School

 
In 1943 the United States Government broke ground for an army hospital on land which was then a part of Petit Ranch in the center of a 160-acre lima bean and carrot patch. The government constructed buildings that would house soldiers being returned home for medical care from the European and Pacific theaters of war. The swimming pool was built in 1947 as a therapeutic and recreational aid for recovering veterans. By direction of the Secretary of War, Birmingham General Hospital was named in honor of the late Brigadier General Henry Patrick Birmingham in 1943. After several years of activity, the United States Government abandoned the grounds and the buildings remained empty until 1952.

As a result of population expansion in the San Fernando Valley, the 63.8-acre tract that is now the campus was reassigned as a temporary school site. Birmingham Junior High School was formed on February 4, 1953 at the campus of Van Nuys Junior High. It moved to the present campus on April 7, 1953. Originally a junior high school, the school expanded into a six-year school until February 1963, when Mullholland Junior High opened a new facility on the adjacent land. The ninth grade became a part of Birmingham High School in the fall semester of 1984 when reconfiguration changed the enrollment to a grade 9-12 school. The Communicatons Technology magnet high school was opened in 1994. In the fall of 2004, High Tech Charter High School will open on the south side of campus replacing the five unused vocational shop buildings.

The Birmingham High School residential attendance area includes parts of the communities of Encino, Reseda, Van Nuys, Northridge, and Lake Balboa. In addition to the residential area, traveling students from the District Voluntary Integration Program and Satellite Zone Program attend Birmingham High School. Birmingham also receives students from over-crowded schools through the Capacity Adjustment Program and through Open Enrollment permits on a space available basis.

The present Birmingham High School plant is a result of a three-phase building program, which has seen the replacement of all the original structures, with the exception of the old gym, now part of the multipurpose room and cafeteria, and the swimming pool. During the years 2000-2004 the interior and exterior of all campus buildings, arcades, and walls were repainted. Additional repairs included new roofing for all buildings and air conditioning schoolwide.

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This site was last updated 06/12/08