Brea (meaning “oil” or “tar” in Spanish) is a city in Orange County, California. The population as of the 2010 census was 39,282. It is located 33 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
The city began as a center of crude oil production, was later propelled by citrus production, and is now an important retail center because of the large Brea Mall and the recently redeveloped Brea Downtown. Brea is also known for its extensive public art program which began in 1975 and continues today with over 140 artworks in the collection placed and located throughout the city. Brea’s public art program has been used as a model and inspiration for many public art programs across the United States.
The city is served by the Brea Olinda Unified School District which operates six elementary schools, one junior high school (Brea Junior High School), one high school (Brea Olinda High School) and one continuation high school. Brea is also home to the Southern California College of Business and Law and the Southern California extension of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Local schools have won several awards. Brea Olinda High School and Olinda Elementary School have been named Blue Ribbon Schools. Additionally, Arovista Elementary, Country Hills Elementary, Fanning Elementary, Mariposa Elementary, Olinda Elementary, Brea Junior High and Brea Olinda High schools have been named California Distinguished Schools. Laurel Elementary received a Title I Academic Achievement Award.
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