July 13, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

More Options Emerge At Facilities Master Plan Workshops:

Hannah Heineman Mirror Staff Writer In another of a continuing series of workshops, community members made more suggestions for the 20-year School District Facilities Master Plan. Separate workshops were held in both Santa Monica and Malibu to obtain input on District sites that are more complex. This workshop was an extension of the April 29 workshop, where participants helped prepare models of each District site, incorporating changes they were suggesting. The workshops focused on Santa Monica High School, Olympic High School and Malibu High School. Community members who participated in the Santa Monica High School (SAMOHI) workshop suggested a central entrance and an entrance that is clearly marked for pick up and drop off.  They also recommended having a better identification of Barnum Hall within the campus, moving the Humanities Building closer to Barnum Hall, having a library center in the middle of the campus, enlarging the Art Building, rethinking the cafeteria and having an individual identity for each of the school’s six houses. A group made up of District staff also made recommendations for changes at SAMOHI.  Their ideas focused on “space needs to support the house system, including meeting rooms and offices for counselors and support staff.”  Their other suggestions closely mirrored those of the community and included improvements for drop off and “additional parking beneath recreational fields and courts” as well as improvements to sports fields and gyms.  They also suggested specialized facilities for science, art and music, a centrally located library/art/classroom building near the main quad and reducing the total number of students on campus and in each house. Olympic High School is considered a more complex site because it houses the Olympic Continuation High School, Adult Education, a Special Education Preschool, the Infant and Family Support Program and the Special Education Full Inclusion Program Team.  Overall, the community suggested the site needs more classrooms and should be structured so all the programs can coexist better at the site.  Additional suggestions for the high school included more classrooms, a library, science labs, private counseling space and an auditorium-performance-music area. For adult education, the community suggested more classrooms for Early Education and English as a Second Language, a school assembly area, a computer lab, a library and an Internet café. Lastly, the community suggested more yard space and parking for the preschool. District staff also made recommendations for the Olympic site which included expanding the auditorium, improving the music facilities, adding art and science classrooms and expanding community facilities to include a teen center and a pool. Those who participated in Malibu suggested an improved traffic circulation, a new library, enhanced science classrooms, classroom size improvements and better organization of the campus for pedestrians so the middle school and high school have their own areas. According to meeting planning documents, the goals of the suggestions were to “address the current school needs,” address the seven initiatives that are part of the District’s 2002 Strategic Plan, “provide outstanding learning facilities for all current and proposed programs and strengthen the role of schools as Community Centers.” After the new Superintendent is hired, the project team will begin preparing the Draft Facilities Master Plan and a final workshop will be held in the fall to gather input regarding the Draft Plan proposals. 

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