Mirror Staff Writer
About 100 community members came to Santa Monica High School last Saturday to help redesign the School District’s facilities.
This was the third workshop in a series that are part of the SMMUSD 20-year Facilities Master planning process which began in January. Documents prepared by the District’s consulting firm Concordia state that the project is building upon “the SMMUSD Strategic Plan of 2002, incorporating the seven initiatives for creating the classrooms of the future. This master plan will guide District officials by examining immediate needs and presenting long-term strategies for improving District facilities.”
Armed with individual models of schools designed by the architecture firm Harley Ellis Devereaux, workshop participants broke into groups by school. Participants then had the chance to alter the models based upon their own ideas, a school needs matrix and a community profile that had been developed from earlier workshops and community surveys.
John Dale of Harley Ellis Devereaux urged the participants to assume all future sites will contain child development centers and covered outdoor cafeteria areas. In addition, free standing modular classrooms will be removed and replaced with more permanent structures, bathrooms will be upgraded, outdoor classrooms will be added, school entrances will be modernized and parking facilities will be increased.
Participants proposed tearing down buildings, moving buildings, changing the purpose of certain structures, adding second stories to existing buildings and changing the way open space is utilized on the campuses.
The final workshop will be held some time this fall. At that point, the Facilities Master Plan will be presented to the community.