Malibu High May Get New Auditorium – Santa Monica College Sweetens Malibu’s Pot For $375M Bond Issue

Written by on June 9, 2022

Malibu and Santa Monica voters are going to see a 375 million dollar bond issue on the ballot this fall … for Santa Monica College.

And part of that money would be earmarked for a new college/high school/community performing arts center at Malibu High School.

Details are sketchy at this early stage … as to what would be built at Malibu High by the college district.

The district spokeswoman says the college district plans to partner with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and Malibu High School to assist with a new auditorium.  Also … “a media studies facility for educational and public use” … says the district.

Malibu High is this summer being relocated to portable classrooms north of the current buildings.   The old Cabrillo school campus is slated to be torn down and replaced with a new high school classroom complex.

But the old auditorium – actually, a repurposed middle school cafeteria building – the old kitchen and several other musty and outmoded buildings are in the master plan to be replaced.  No funding has been approved for that – the last $195 million bond issue has $160 million for the high school classrooms, but no more.

Most of the bond money would be spent at the SMC campus on Pico at 19th in Santa Monica. 

As for the proposed $375 million bond issue, the SMC board put in on the November 2022 ballot this week.  The college yesterday announced that they are asking voters to build what they call much needed updates to existing SMC career training facilities.

The college wants to build new dorms for eligible low-income students.  They want to provide technology upgrades … for classrooms that blend on campus and computerized education … to meet emergent needs in the post-pandemic world.

The college proposes to build a comprehensive green room, virtual reality, and sound stage facility to teach how to record and stream high-quality, interactive learning content.  Also … a health sciences “skills lab” featuring simulated hospital units for Respiratory Care majors …a skill set in overdrive demand due to the Coronavirus.

Malibu makes up about one seventh of the Santa Monica College district … and like with the SMMUSD … Malibu supplies more tax money to the district than it receives in services.

In the last bond issue… 16 years ago… the college district won passage in the entire district – including in Malibu – by promising to build a campus in Malibu.

To sweeten the deal … SMC threw in a sheriff’s substation… those are the facilities that are being finished this fall at the Civic Center.

The College district’s funding of the Malibu High School performing arts center may mean that the SMMUSD may not have to go to voters for a bond issue soon.  

The current Malibu High School auditorium is outmoded… and quite frankly ugly.  The brick building hard up against Morning View Drive in the center of the campus.

Construction of the new high school building is supposed to start this fall.

The old Juan Cabrillo Elementary school is scheduled for the wrecking ball summer.

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