BEVERLY HILLS—In response to the Los Angeles’ plan to extend the Metro Purple Line as far as Beverly Hills, a group of students at Beverly Hills High School have made a series of films speaking out against the project.
Though city officials initially planned for the project to run beneath Santa Monica Boulevard, Metro reported that seismic fault lines beneath the busy street made construction unsafe. The plans were then altered so that construction would run beneath BHHS, eventually leading to a station at Century City’s Constellation Boulevard.
The film, narrated by Beverly Hills Unified School District board member Lewis Hall and students of the school brings forth a number of issues with the new route.
“We cannot allow this to happen,” Hall said. “It’s dangerous for our students, and will seriously impact our plans to expand this school. Let me make it clear. Beverly Hills wants a subway. The route is the issue.”
In addition to limiting the school’s expansion, Hall argues that construction through nearby oil drilling operations presents the dangerous possibility of methane gas explosion. The video questions the validity of Metro’s scientific discoveries.
“We hired a world class team of licensed geologists who drilled cores and dug trenches over ninety percent of our campus. Metro has never dug trenches, which are considered the gold standard in earthquake investigations.”
“After millions of dollars of coring and trenching and laboratory work, and a lot of discussion by experts, we found nothing.”
The claims of Hall and BHHS haven’t gone unopposed.
A recent article by LAist contributor Juliet Bennett Rylah takes direct aim at the video series, entitled, “Why We Fight.”
“Beverly Hills is being dragged kicking and screaming into the expansion of the Purple Line—which requires Metro to tunnel beneath Beverly Hills High School—at every turn. And now, they’ve recruited their teens to make inspiring propaganda films against the subway.”
The article goes on to take shots at the school’s use of taxpayer money to oppose the project, questioning everything from the validity of their science to the title of the film, which bears the namesake of a seven-part documentary commissioned by the US government to convince American soldiers and civilians that our nation’s involvement in World War II was necessary.
Rylah writes, “So, basically, Nazis are just as bad as the Metro expanding the Purple Line beneath Beverly Hills High School. Got it.”
The consequences of the current debate won’t be fully understood until the current students of BHHS are in their twenties, as the planned expansion isn’t expected to open until 2023.
The $2.8 billion expansion has already officially broken ground, and in an effort to make room for the immense project, the movement of underground utility lanes has already begun.