DOWNEY’S WARREN HIGH ADDING A MOVIE BACK LOT FOR FILMMAKING CLASSESBy Christian Brown
The $11,200 grant that Warren High School just received from Lowe’s was the result of the combined efforts and priorities of construction teacher Kent Kiess and film teacher Andy Lundsberg.
The Downey school is using the money to convert an old weightroom into a warehouse for construction classes—and a movie back lot modeled after Paramount Studios.
The grant money also provides for a new, 20-by-20 herb and produce garden designated to the food and culinary science department, although students will periodically use the garden for filming.
“They’re all included in the grant,” said Kiess, who will oversee the portions of the building project. “It was set up to cover film, culinary arts, photography, construction, graphic arts…We asked for $11,200 and got it all. In addition to the back lot, we will be building a garden for the culinary arts program, and the old weight room will be turned into a warehouse for construction classes.”
With a deadline of Nov. 20, the school is moving quickly, already preparing plans for the new structures, which will be unveiled during an opening ceremony this fall.
Unlike other building renovations around campus, these additions will be designed, painted and constructed primarily by Warren students.
“The art department is doing most of the painting, my intermediate and advanced construction students will be working on it…Everyone is coming together to work on this,” said Kiess. “You can’t recreate this in the classroom. It’s a huge learning experience that puts them ahead of other students. It motivates them…they realize that they can do it.”