Half-Billion High: America’s 5 Most Expensive Public Schools
AOL News Surge Desk
The Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, the nation’s most expensive public school ever built, is set to open in Los Angeles next month, The Associated Press reports. The school is on the grounds of the former Ambassador Hotel, where Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. Portions of the old hotel remain — the Cocoanut Grove nightclub has been transformed into an auditorium, the hotel diner has become a teacher’s lounge, and the ballroom where Kennedy was shot will be a library.
The school takes a place next to the country’s other so-called "Taj Mahal" schools, which all came at a cost of more than $100 million. (The real Taj Mahal, by comparison, cost an estimated 62 million Indian rupees to build at the time, which comes to about $687,286 American, not adjusted for inflation.) Below, Surge Desk takes a look at these costly centers of learning.
1. Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, Los Angeles
- Price: $578 million
- Students: 4,200
- Size: 452,000 square feet
- Amenities: Fine art murals, marble memorial, swimming pool, 19,000-square-foot public park
Damian Dovarganes, AP
The Robert F. Kennedy Learning Center in Los Angeles will reopen next month as the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, the nation’s most expensive public school ever.
Los Angeles Daily News/ZUMA Press
The Coconut Grove Auditorium at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools.
2. Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, Los Angeles
- Price: $377 million
- Students: 2,500
- Size: 310,000 square feet
- Amenities: Dance studio with cushioned floor, triple gym, 418 underground parking spaces
3. Central No. 9 Visual and Performing Arts High School, Los Angeles
- Price: $232 million
- Students: 1,700
- Size: 238,000 square feet
- Amenities: 950-seat performing arts center, three dance studios, 300-car garage, ceiling-mounted projectors in each classroom, outdoor atrium for Japanese raku pottery.
Damian Dovarganes, AP
The striking entryway to the Visual and Performing Arts High School in Los Angeles.
4. Newtown North High School, Newtonville, Mass.
- Price: $200 million
- Students: 1,865
- Size: 413,000 square feet
- Amenities: Swimming pool, climbing wall, television studio
City of Newton, Mass.
Newton North High School, shown in a 2008 sketch, has a climbing wall and a TV studio.
5. New Brunswick High School, New Brunswick, N.J.
- Price: $185 million
- Students: 1,300
- Size: 400,000 square feet
- Amenities: Rooftop solar panels, state-of-the-art lighting for four athletic fields, Internet-connected "Smart boards" instead of blackboards.