SMC Breaks Ground in Malibu
Marking the start of construction on Santa Monica College's new Malibu Campus Santa Monica College President Dr. Kathryn E Jeffery, SMC Board of Trustees Chair Barry Snell, and the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Shiela Kuehl came together to break ground at Legacy Park, Malibu this past Friday morning, September 21. Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonald and City of Malibu Mayor Rick Mullen were also in attendance.
The open, airy, and eco-friendly two-story design, sitting amidst three acres of pristine Malibu land, will include an educational building with dedicated labs for both arts and sciences, two general education classrooms, a 100 seat lecture hall with raked seating suitable for both film and music events, and a multi-purpose physical space for yoga, dance, and various activities.
The eco-friendly construction and various sustainability features incorporated by QDG Architecture succeeded in fulfilling all of Malibu city’s “dark skies” standards, and the new SMC campus will provide a space for an interpretive centre to assist in supporting Malibu’s unique historical culture.
In her speech, SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Katherine E. Jeffery made it a point to acknowledge the hard work it took to make the project happen, saying “It took teamwork to bring the Malibu Campus from vision to actuality. Multiple agencies - including the County of Los Angeles, the City of Malibu, and Santa Monica College - all collaborated extensively to find creative solutions to fulfilling community needs within an overall vision of education, public safety, and clean water improvements for Malibu.”
“SMC’s Malibu Campus builds on a legacy of valuable educational services that the college has offered in the past, ranging from art to general education and non-credit offerings,” said Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, “We’ve envisioned how that legacy might be further enhanced so that Malibu community members have the best possible learning experience right in their own backyard."
Back in October of 2004, the City of Malibu and Santa Monica College entered a Joint Powers Authority agreement to pursue planning for clean water facilities and an educational campus in the city of Malibu. The Authority includes two City of Malibu Councilmembers and two members of the SMC Board of Trustees. Another partnership was formed In April 2011, when LA County and SMC entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that would provide a site for the new campus, and, would include a community Sheriff’s substation to be built as part of the project.
Thanks to these partnerships, for the first time since the early 1990's, the City of Malibu will now have a police substation within its own city limits.
SMC contributed $2.5 million for the acquisition of Legacy Park, which serves as a storage site for stormwater and, as part of its responsibilities towards the Authority’s goal of providing clean water facilities for the Malibu Civic Center, SMC also contributed an additional $2.5 million towards brand new, state of the art facilities for the treatment of wastewater.
According to Malibu officials, the 15-acre Legacy Park - which opened in October 2010 immediately to the south of the SMC campus site - is widely considered one of the most innovative urban runoff and stormwater projects in California, and has won numerous awards. The recently opened wastewater treatment facility - and its complex system of piping, treatment, and discharge through injection wells - is now successfully in operation and the area will provide opportunities for students in the geology, ecology, and life-science specialization classes.
LA County Sheriff Tui Wright, who helps to coordinate one of the states largest search and rescue teams said, "I think the City of Malibu is a world-class destination and it deserves to have a substation here, as well as all the benefits that come with it, such as an Emergency Operations Center. Now we'll have the ability to more easily bring in helicopters for Operations Control, Beach Enforcement, and our Search and Rescue teams."
Speaking to LA County Sheriff Jim McDonald after the event, he said "The ability to have a presence, where people can be able to come to the station and talk to the deputies, to be able to talk to the detectives and follow up on any cases that they might have; It's convenient for the public that we serve, but its also a tactical consideration for us to have that footprint here to respond from, [for us] not to have to travel 22 miles in - when somebody needs you right now, they need you right now - and that's a hardship for everybody.
SMC Malibu campus construction is expected to be finished in December of 2021 and aims to be opening for classes in 2022.