MHS/MMS Administration, Library, Classroom Buildings Unveiled

SMMUSD Board of Education President Jon Kean speaks before the ribbon cutting of the new campus buildings, flanked (from left) by Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati, School Board Member Craig Foster and Malibu City Council Member and longtime education advocate Karen Farrer.

Malibu Middle and High school students came back to a changed campus last month after more than a year of virtual schooling. Nearly four years after the demolition of the original 1960s Malibu High School administration building and library, the campus has two new state-of-the-art buildings that will house the library, administration offices and classrooms, including science labs.

The rebuild funding came from a $268-million school bond Measure BB passed by Santa Monica and Malibu in 2006 and was precipitated by a court order demanding campus buildings be replaced after a lengthy legal battle over the discovery of carcinogenic PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, in some campus buildings. The three-story building houses an expansive library, three state-of-the-art science labs, two computer labs, four general classrooms, a media center and administration offices for the principals and support staff. In addition, it also includes a parent meeting center, health, technology and security offices, and will have special “green roofs” covered with grass and vegetation. Construction costs totaled $45 million (with some funding from another bond, Measure ES), though the total cost was much higher, factoring in design, furniture, landscaping and finishings.

City and school district dignitaries were invited to attend the ribbon cutting, featuring tours and light refreshments, on Friday afternoon, May 21.