Just north of LAX, construction commenced last week on a $150-million athletic and education complex billed as one of the largest philanthropic investments in the history of Los Angeles

Lulu's Place, which will span across 31 acres of long-vacant land on the north side of Westchester Parkway, will include tennis courts, soccer fields, playground areas, walking paths, and a dog park. The facilities are to be made available to the general public, with academic, athletic, and wellness programs to be offered at free or low-cost to children from the surrounding community.

Sports fields at Lulu's PlaceRios

The project is named in honor of the late Carol "Lulu" Kimmelman, a former LAUSD teacher and a member of the USC women's tennis team that won the 1983 national championship.

"My four children and I are deeply committed to honoring Lulu's legacy and her passionate belief in the power of tennis and other sports to impart valuable life skills that are essential for personal growth and academic success," said Doug Kimmelman, the project's lead donor and Lulu's husband, in a news release.

Rendering of tennis courts at Lulu's PlaceRios

Lulu's Place is being funded entirely through philanthropic donations, and includes participation from organizations such as the United States Tennis Association, the USTA Foundation, Tiger Woods' TGR Foundation, the Karsh Family Foundation, Cedars-Sinai, Providence, the Ballmer Group, Alfred E. Mann Charities, the Rose Hills Foundation, the Hirsch Family Foundation, the Joseph Drown Foundation, the LA84 Foundation, and the Walt Disney Company. The land is being developed into Lulu's Place under a long-term ground lease from Los Angeles World Airports, which owns the property.

Also included in Lulu's Place, through a partnership with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, is a new TGR Learning Lab on the St. Bernard High School campus. The center is intended to serve students from under-resourced communities, providing education in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) for college and career preparation.

Groundbreaking for Lulu's PlaceLulu's Place

Rios is designing Lulu's Place, which will include a welcome center with space for program offices and athletic training, as well as buildings providing healthcare services to student athletes.

Completion of Lulu's Place is expected in approximately two years.

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