The refurbishment of two buildings to breathe new life into its theater space comes in the form of a donation from one of its eldest and most experienced teachers.
Advanced Placement English teacher Rose Gilbert, 94, made a $1 million donation earlier this summer to reconstruct Mercer Hall and the B-101 building on campus. They will be made into brand new theater halls. On Thursday, Gilbert said she's happy it's been approved, and said whatever remaining costs come from construction will be picked up by the school district and the state.
"It will benefit the whole community, not only Pali High," she said. "That's what's important. The whole community will use the theater at times."
Gilbert's been teaching English at Pali High since 1960, including rural and contemporary literature. Her late husband Sam built 14 buildings on the Pali High campus as well.
"We have really great facilities here," she added.
Prior to coming to Palisades, Gilbert taught at in West L.A. Gilbert, a UCLA alum, is a strong donor to its programs and scholarships. Gilbert's late daughter Margaret, a UCLA alum as well who passed away in 2004, motivated by her to create something in her daughter's name at the university.
"So I thought, my coffin won't have any pockets," she said jokingly about her continued generosity in Palisades.
"I love the kids," Gilbert added. "They're stimulating and make me feel young. Every day they have new ideas, even with literature and poetry. They bring new insight."
Patch will update on the construction progress as more information becomes available.