The Santa Monica-Malibu school board is expected to discuss staffing levels, technology upgrades and more during Thursday’s meeting at Malibu City Hall.
But several hours will likely be devoted to updates on environmental activities at two Malibu school sites, where the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has been examining the health risks associated with polychlorinated biphenyls.
Amid community concerns about the chemicals and some local parents’ dissatisfaction with the district’s handling of the situation, representatives from Environ are scheduled to present information and answer board members’ questions.
“This study session is designed to allow the Board of Education to be fully updated about the environmental activities that have been conducted by Environ at Malibu High School and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School,” district officials wrote in a report. “The board will be given an overview of the work done to date, the plan for both schools between now and the end of the year, and the plan developed for the district as a whole.”
According to the district, plans include removal and replacement of all caulk in four classrooms and the shuttered woodshop at Malibu High School by June 30 and the removal of light fixtures at the high school by the start of the 2015-16 school year.
The district, which says it is following federal and state guidelines, has already spent millions of dollars on legal fees, consultations and environmental remediation associated with the two Malibu sites in question.
“Questions about the health of our schools continues to be posed,” reads a district release. “State, local and federal agencies with expertise and oversight in the areas of public and environmental health have all reviewed the relevant data and concluded that the schools are safe to occupy.”
The board is expected to award a $60,000 contract to Long Beach-based A.J. Fistes Corp., for painting interior hallways at Santa Monica High School.
According to a district report, hallways in eight buildings at Samohi have not been painted in more than 15 years.
” … as hallways are the most heavily trafficked areas within the school, it is well past the maintenance schedule for repainting these areas,” the report reads.
The painting project is scheduled to be completed between March 28 and April 12, when the school is closed for spring break.
A.J. Fistes was chosen from a list of six contractors who bid on the project.
Technology upgrades continue rolling out throughout the district.
The school board will weigh approval of a $3.1-million contract with Meridian IT/Promark Technology Inc., for wireless infrastructure, including wireless access points, phones and other equipment.
The board will also consider increasing salary ranges for technology support staff to attract qualified candidates.