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School Board Seeks Input On BB Site Construction:

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Board of Education began appointing members to the District’s Measure BB Advisory Committee on June 13.

According to the District staff report, the purpose of the committee is to provide the Board “and District staff with the community’s perspective regarding school site construction projects.” Funding for these projects will be obtained from Measure BB, which was approved by the Santa Monica and Malibu voters in November of 2006.

The Board appointed 10 committee members, and those appointees met on June 25 to decide on the additional appointments to the committee. The Board will review their recommended appointees on June 28. All of the 10 appointees were members of the District’s Ad Hoc Facilities Committee, which helped develop the District’s 20-year Facilities Master Plan.

Specific charges for the committee include “advising the Board during the final stage and development of the” Facilities Master Plan, identifying for the District potential project managers to implement construction projects, providing input to the District on identified Health and Safety priorities for Phase I projects, working with the District and others “to review projects that reflect Board, District and site priorities during all phases of construction” and updating the Board as requested. The Advisory Committee will have the ability to consider any changes to the charges.

The Board then discussed the Draft Facilities Master Plan and authorized the environmental review of the plan through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This environmental review process is expected to last for approximately 12 months, and will include issuing the Draft Master Plan along with a Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a 45-day public comment period. Adoption of the Final Master Plan and Final EIR is expected in mid-2008.

Gleam Davis, the co-chair of the Ad Hoc Facilities Committee and now a member of the Measure BB Committee, emphasized that it is “the full intention [of everyone concerned] that the project doesn’t go on hold for CEQA.”

The District staff report states, “The project addresses 17 capital improvement projects which include eight elementary campuses, three middle schools, three high schools (including a continuation high school), a childcare facility, a language academy and the District administrative offices.” The projects build upon the initiatives that were identified in the District’s Strategic Plan that was developed in 2002.

John Dale, one of the District’s consultants for the project, said that the plan as it stands now contains about $1.2 billion worth of projects over the next 20 years. The bond measure (Measure BB) approved by the voters was for $268 million and will finance phases I and II of the plan. The rest of the funding will come from future bond measures.

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