SANTA MONICA/MALIBU—On December 9, the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District held a board meeting to discuss the facilities Improvement Projects. The plan of action will call for using $98 million of measure SMS funding for the first round of renovations towards Santa Monica elementary and middle schools.
As a dedicated team has stated that three major moves will take place during this time. New buildings will be built at Rogers, McKinley, and Roosevelt elementary schools. Minor medium size moves will be made to Grant and Franklin elementary schools to help improve in facilities. While smaller improvements will be made to John Adams and Lincoln middle school.
A presentation was presented after conducting extensive research findings, site visits, stake holder consultations, and community meetings. The vote to continue to move forward with renovations will take place on December 17.
The goal is to create more outdoor learning spaces for students and staff. The school district has designed a plan that will remove a total of 24 portable classrooms. The project would remove nine at McKinley, six at Roosevelt, six at Will Rogers, and three at Franklin. Lincoln middle school being the exception will all be participating in renovations for more spacing.
“We wanted to respect the language that we had in the bond suggesting that we would remove aging portables, so that was a priority. We also focused on things that would have a direct student impact and direct student benefits, so some of the administration type upgrades were pushed down a little bit for right now,” said Judith Meiser, Santa Monica Facilities District Advisory Committee member. “We did decide to focus on the Elementary schools because the middle schools received more recent work and the elementary schools have a lot of need.”
At McKinley Elementary school $29.49 million worth of improvements was proposed to build a brand new two story building for new classrooms and school support offices.
Will Rogers Elementary school would use $22.8 million to go towards improvements for a new building for transitional kindergarten and kindergarten students along with a new playground and field set up.
Roosevelt Elementary School was assigned $16.22 million for improvements in the following areas PK, TK, and K classrooms along with new outdoor play areas.
Grant Elementary school would receive $8.15 million in renovations to go towards expanding the library, courtyard, along with consolidating pre-K and kindergarten classroom and yard spacing.
Franklin would receive $9.3 million in renovations to go towards a new maker space building and new maker yard to enhance project based learning.
The talk of creating patios and outdoor classrooms have also been discussed.
John Adams Middle School would receive $1.62 million to rebuild their library and create a new outdoor deck.
Lincoln Middle School would get $840,000 worth of renovations and new modernized bathroom updates for students with special needs.
“I think this report was really excellent and the amount of work that is reflected and the amount of process that is reflected is amazing,” said Board Member Laurie Lieberman”.
Board member Ralph Mechur did mention how all the new renovations that are expected to take place that the plan would ultimately eliminate portable classrooms as a whole, which in the past haven’t been to significant. Mechur also mentioned that the facilities Improvement Project staff give more detail on how the existing buildings would be incorporated with the new renovations.
“Maybe at this point to keep the community assured that we’re not damaging any historic infrastructure, relative to future thinking and learning it might be as simple as just laying out where we might need to do extra work and most of these projects probably don’t need that,” said Mechur.