Sacred Heart

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in La Canada Flintridge plans to dig down and create a three-story parking structure for staff, juniors and seniors, which will also relocate the student pickup and dropoff circle with the goal to increase efficiency and parking capacity. The school has plans pending approval by the city to renovate and modernize the campus. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer / February 1, 2013)

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy opened its doors to the public on Thursday night, but only a couple of residents accepted the invitation.

The open house was part of an outreach effort designed to inform neighbors who live near the school about the planned campus renovation, which includes a 3 1/2-story parking structure and a larger auditorium.

Hera Benlian, who lives on Inverness Drive, studied the renderings of the plan that were on display Thursday night. She said it looked like a big project. "I didn't realize the scale of it."

A mother of three daughters, Benlian said she is worried about construction trucks driving up the winding roads to complete the work.

"I'm scared for my kids," she said. "I want to make sure the roads are safe."

Members of the group Protect LCF say there are still many unknown factors about the expansion — such as how a planned traffic management program would be enforced.

Sacred Heart plans to hire one person to run the program, which is slated to start in August, said Margaret Kean, the school's chief development officer.

The program will require students to commute to the school via bus or carpool. Students will pick their preferred mode of transportation in April.

Benlian said a carpooling plan would help ease traffic in her neighborhood, but she is waiting to see how it turns out.

The city has begun the environmental review process for the school's expansion plans and will hold a scoping meeting in the Council Chambers on Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. 

Sacred Heart will hold a second open house and tour of the campus on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. to noon.

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-- Tiffany Kelly, Times Community News

Follow Tiffany Kelly on Google+ and on Twitter @LATiffanyKelly.