Voter-backed technology and infrastructure improvements continue rolling out across the Santa Monica-Malibu school district.

The Board of Education recently approved up to $825,091 for wireless access points, telephone and other technological infrastructure. It’s anticipated that installation will begin in the fall of the upcoming school year.

Meridian IT is providing the equipment, licenses and software upgrades. Sigmanet is the district’s contractor for installation and training.

Funding will come from the Measure ES technology budget, which the board approved in October. Voters passed the $385-million measure in 2012.

Meanwhile, the school board also approved about $151,000 in Measure BB money for equipment at Santa Monica High School’s science and innovation building, which district spokeswoman Gail Pinsker said is slated to open this fall.

VWR Scientific Products is the designated contractor.

“Authorization of this purchase will allow Santa Monica High School the ability to install and purchase all science equipment and appliances for the new science labs, prep and tech rooms in the innovation buildings,” a district report reads.

About $118,000 for new library circulation software was approved by the board as well.

The contract for Follet School Solutions also includes accompanying hardware, such as handheld scanners for remote collection and management, according to a district report.

The contract is being covered by Measure ES money as well as Microsoft voucher and Common Core funds.

Water agreement

The school board approved an agreement that will allow the City of Santa Monica to install and operate a water harvesting and filtration system on district property.

The 50-year easement involves Los Amigos Park, which is owned by the district and adjacent to John Muir Elementary School and Santa Monica Alternative School House. City activity will not cause disruptions at the campuses, officials said.

“We’ve been clear to the city that any disruption had to occur during summer months so as not to interfere with school operation,” said Jan Maez, the district’s chief financial officer.

The infrastructure will catch and sanitize stormwater runoff, Maez said. The agreement will help the city save water while reducing district liability.

Construction is expected to begin later this year and wrap up in 2016.

“It comes at a perfect time,” said Maez, alluding to the ongoing drought in California.

The board welcomed public testimony on the matter, but meeting headquarters were nearly empty when the easement was approved.

Legal matter

In a closed session before the board’s April 16 meeting, members were slated to discuss with legal counsel a lawsuit filed by American Unites (formerly Malibu Unites) and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility regarding chemical testing and cleanup at Malibu school sites.

A list of approved purchase orders includes another $200,000 in environmental remediation services for Environ, the district’s consultant on the matter.

The district has spent millions of dollars on analysis, testing and legal fees since the discovery of polychlorinated biphenyls at Malibu High School.


The school district and the Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association have officially opened negotiations, according to a district report.

The public will be given opportunities to weigh in before a new contract is finalized.

Contact Jeff Goodman at 310-573-8351, or on Twitter.

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