‘Historic’ Malibu High Facade Won’t Escape Demolition
• EIR Requirements Are Part of the Preparation Process for BB Projects
BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN
BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board approved an agreement with PBS & J, the company overseeing the Environmental Impact Report process at Malibu High School, to conduct an archeological survey of the project site for the City of Malibu Local Coastal Plan. The archeological survey is expected to cost $9166 and brings the total contract amount for PBS&J to $513,850.
The initial EIR states that the impact on archeological resources and the risk of “directly or indirectly destroying a unique paleontological resource” are estimated to be “less than significant with mitigation incorporation.” However, the risk of “substantial adverse change in the significance of a historical resource is listed as “potentially significant.”
An historic resources evaluation report that was prepared in July of 2008 for the Santa Monica–Malibu Unified School District previously identified the front facade of the high school, which is scheduled for demolition and reconstruction, as “potentially eligible for inclusion in the California Register of Historic Places pursuant to the Register’s Criteria, (i.e., associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of local or regional history, or the cultural heritage of California or the United States) based on its association with both the history of the school district and the history and development of the City of Malibu.
The survey identified the front facade as “the primary character-defining architectural feature that ‘conveys the historical associations and significance of this individually eligible resource.’”
The preliminary EIR states that “Currently the City of Malibu has not included the MHS site on its map of culturally sensitive places or on any list of locally historic properties.
The board was also asked to approve an additional $25,144 to the firm of HMC Architects, to provide “architectural services for participation and support of the Environmental Impact Review (EIR) work and associated public meetings, in conjunction with the Measure “BB” construction program, in an amount not to exceed $25,144, for a total contract amount of $4,887,448” according to the district.
“The District will require assistance from HMC Architects to provide input, design documents, and participation in public meetings for the EIR process for Malibu HS. The scope of work was not included in their basic services of their original agreement from HMC did not include these support activities.”
This was the last board of education session for outgoing boardmember Kathy Wisnicki. Wisnicki’s departure leaves Malibu without a representative on the district board for the first time in decades.
The district continues to draw vociferous criticism from Malibu Park neighbors and community groups for its apparent failure to involve the community in the project.
The first of three promised community meetings is scheduled for Dec. 8 at the school.