Several mural artists gathered in Logan Heights Wednesday to ask the San Diego Unified School District for a chance to recreate historic murals threatened by the construction of a new campus.
The SDUSD is in the process of building its new K -12 center, the Logan Memorial Educational Campus.
While the demolition of some buildings is necessary to create the new campus along 28th Street and Logan Avenue, it comes at the cost of several murals once proudly displayed across Memorial Prep Middle School.
"They never contacted neither one of the artists that painted murals here, I painted two," said artist Sal Barajas.
Barajas is upset his input was not considered by district officials, and said he's fighting for artwork that has a deep meaning to the Chicano community.
"It's an incredible imagery there related to the community and education," explained Barajas.
In a statement, San Diego Unified School District said the murals could not be moved because they were painted directly onto an old wood-framed building that contained lead-based paint and asbestos. The district said they took photos of the original murals and plan to display them on campus.
"We are not against the project, we are not against the progress of education in Logan Heights," said Logan Heights resident Wicho Flores. "What we want to do and what was asked of them five years ago is number one, we asked that they be transparent and help us preserve the culture and history of the community and school."
Barajas, one of the original artists, wants to recreate his artwork, but needs to be given the chance.
"As long as they give us an opportunity to repaint it, but we need to get some resources to do that," said Barajas.
District officials explained the new construction will bring the first public high school to Logan Heights, along with a Montessori program.