After a six-month hiatus due to the hiring of a new superintendent, the School Board and the community got an overview of the work that has been done on the District’s Facilities Master Plan.
The purpose of the 20-year Facilities Master Plan is to establish policies and priorities and to identify projects that will build upon the seven initiatives that were identified in the District’s Strategic Plan that was developed in 2002. These seven initiatives are abundant resources, curriculum, differentiated learning, equity and equality of education, optimal class size, schools as community centers and universal access to quality early childhood education, family support programs and after school care.
Financing for the identified projects in phases I and II of the plan will come from Measure BB, the $268 million bond measure that voters from Santa Monica and Malibu approved last November.
At the March 10 meeting held at Santa Monica High School, the District’s consultants emphasized that they used macro themes developed from the community workshops that were held as part of the plan’s development process. These themes were parity and equity, joint use and community access, abundant resources, optimal class size, inclusion of special education, sustainable design, landscape enhancements and storm water management, traffic and circulation, structural and seismic upgrades and building code upgrades.
The site proposal for Santa Monica High School was based upon the following themes: civic urban space, urban axis/Promenade, links to the Civic Center, smaller learning communities, small school identity and decentralized dining. The goals of the proposal are to make the campus more pedestrian oriented, put parking at the perimeter of the campus, have shared facilities for programs and have the internal campus parking areas become courts for the campus houses.
The Board decided to focus on future enrollment and District standards as policy decisions that need to be made prior to the completion of the plan.
Board President Kathy Wisnicki expressed her satisfaction with the planning process by noting, “This is the first time we’re having our educational needs driving our facilities.”
Later this month, meetings will be held at all school sites to give parents, teachers, students and administrators an opportunity to review and comment on the potential improvements proposed. For further information, contact the site principals or go to ourschoolplan.com.
A presentation on the Draft Facilities Master Plan will be made sometime this spring at a community meeting. The Board will review and adopt the plan in June.