School Board OKs $160M Scrape and Reboot at MHS

Written by on November 8, 2019

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School Board has approved the 160 million dollar bulldozing and reconstruction of Malibu High School.

Not one person spoke … in favor or in opposition … to the concept last night … when the board met at Malibu City Hall.

The blueprint that was approved last night will see a new … distinct middle school carved out on the eastern side of the campus.

A two-story high school building will be situated where the old Juan Cabrillo Elementary sits now.

In the middle … a U-shaped driveway to get cars off Mornign View Drive.

the project will cost 160 million dollars … and that will not quite be enough to finish the job.

The plan is to build the classrooms first .. at the new high school building on the west end of the campus.

That 2-story classroom was significantly modified after parents suggested that it be oriented to take advantage of superb ocean views … and cooling ocean breezes.

It would sit back 100 feet from the canyon edge … with student parkign behind it … off Morning View Drive.

The old classroom buildings int he middle of the current campus … as well as the auditorium … gyms and swimming pool … would be the last to be replaced.

the whole project would take up to 10 years to complete … and possibly another bond issue to complete.

The big question … how many kids will use it???

Enrollment is down about 15 percent after the Wolsey Fire … accelerating a downward demographic trend in Malibu.

District Bond Facilities coordinator Steve Massetti last night said the new buildings are being designed with flexibility.


“There are concerns about appropriately sizing the high school because of course we have had some I think concerns about enrollment in Malibu… which does make it difficult to size the high school building.”

The Malibu High makeover passed by a unanimous vote.

One of the only questions raised came from Laurie Lieberman … a Santa Monica board member who publicly supports splitting Malibu out of the district.


“Is there any built in flexibility in the plan to allow for a district office to be built here?”

The answer … yes … if Malibu ever becomes a separate district.

The district board last night approved beginning the selection process for an architect.

Specific plans will then have to be drawn up.

Plans will have to be approved by the City of Malibu Planning Commission … at some point in the future.

Also … the Coastal Commission.

Construction will be finished in 8 to 10 years.

We have the new plan for the Malibu High campus posted … on the KBUU Newswire.

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