"No Subway Under BHHS," a dramatic video by the Beverly Hills school district's parent-teacher council, is gaining attention for its catastrophic depiction of dangers that they say may exist in the plans for building the Westside subway extension under the campus.
The school, which sits atop oil wells that the video claims are not capped or mapped properly, shows fireball graphics fade into images of children as they walk to class, narrated with ominous voiceover.
There have been community protests and threats by the city and the school district to sue over the tunneling plan. Metro approved the environmental review for much of the plans last month, but is holding out on moving forward on the Beverly Hills HS portion until a meeting this month. The Metro maintains its plan is safe.
Guiding the video effort were "a bunch of concerned parents," some of whom work in the movie industry, said Jennifer Terrell-Schwartz, co-president of the 1,000-member PTA Council for the Beverly Hills Unified School District. "We wanted to get people's attention," she said. "Parents are concerned about safety. We feel Metro's not listening to the concerns."
But one engineering consultant for the district who appears in the video suggested Friday that parts of it are over the top. "I don't think having the big explosion [in the video] is as helpful as it could be," said Tim Buresh, the district's lead engineer on the subway issue. He said that when he agreed to speak for the cameras, he did not know that special effects would be used.
Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner