Over the last few years, old buildings were demolished. Orange cones, gates and scaffolding were everywhere. Construction noise filled the air at the Virginia Avenue campus.
But although work continues, the end is seemingly now in sight.
With the last portion of the 2014-15 academic year around the corner, Edison Language Academy is starting to look like a school again.
Crews have made noticeable progress on a large-scale renovation project at the Santa Monica-Malibu district’s dual-immersion elementary school, which has been under construction for several years.
In the first phase of the project, which began in 2011, crews built 27 classrooms for K-5 students as well as a new library, administrative office and cafeteria. Students and teachers have been using the new facilities since January 2014.
“It is a beautiful new facility with great technology,” school principal Lori Orum said.
The ongoing second phase includes the construction of a preschool building with two classrooms as well as an outdoor learning area, play fields, a physical education facility and parking.
The project, which also includes new outdoor eating areas and updated landscaping, is expected to be completed later this year.
Work will continue through the fall on the preschool, playgrounds and parking lots, according to Orum.
Edison, where all students learn Spanish and English, was targeted for major improvements years ago.
The $34-million project was funded mostly through Measure BB, a $268-million parcel tax passed by Santa Monica and Malibu voters in 2006 for the repair and renovation of district schools.
As of March 24, the district’s current list of pending tasks includes acoustic design and installation in the Cafetorium, which has a performing stage, air conditioning in classrooms and the administrative annex, striping on the volleyball court and other play-surface asphalt work.
Sustainability and technology were focal points of the renovation project, as evidenced by the LED projectors that have been installed in the multipurpose room, the computer lab, new interactive learning boards, a rooftop garden and solar chimneys.
The solar chimneys were the subject of controversy last year when parents said they failed to handle high temperatures generated by a heat wave.
The project is also aiming to improve natural lighting, air quality and ventilation on the campus. To that end, air purification units have been installed in classrooms to reduce the presence of dust and pollen. Fans have also been put in place to circulate air in the classrooms.
For more information, visit http://fip.smmusd.org/edison.html.
Contact Jeff Goodman at 310-573-8351, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter.