At a meeting that could yield a pathway for negotiations on splitting the Santa Monica-Malibu school district, the Board of Education this evening is expected to approve a wide variety of facility upgrades at campuses throughout the district.

The school board appears set to authorize a $1.43-million contract for the construction of a district data center.

AWI Builders submitted the lowest of six bids for the project, which comes as the district funds numerous technological improvements. The center will house SMMUSD telephone, email and data networks, according to a district report.

“The equipment, network and facility upgrades will provide stability and increased storage capacity of the District’s systems while supporting the technology initiatives in the classrooms,” the report reads.

During its meeting at SMMUSD headquarters, the school board could also approve a study of a John Adams Middle School auditorium that is currently closed due to structural problems.

The district would enlist NAC Architecture to help determine whether the facility should be completely renovated or replaced altogether. The company would receive $64,600 in Measure ES funds to assess the building’s condition, accessibility, heating and cooling systems, plumbing infrastructure and other possible changes.

In addition, the school board is expected to move forward on a plan to renovate windows, floors and walls with bond money.

Measure ES funds will likely go toward a contract with HMC Architects, which the district chose after officials held interviews with three firms earlier this month. Terms of the contract have not yet been finalized.

Meanwhile, close to $100,000 in other bond-backed facility projects are up for board approval. Measure ES money will be used to pay district consultant Heery International $90,000 for program management services, while more than $6,500 in Measure BB funding is supporting heating, ventilation and cooling work at Edison Language Academy.

District staff have recommended converting the Measure BB advisory committee into a broader facilities panel with three subcommittees for Malibu, Samohi and all other projects. The board will discuss the possible reconfiguration.

Measure ES, a $385-million bond for school upgrades, was passed by voters in 2012. It followed voter approval in 2006 of Measure BB, a $268-million bond.

The district, which hired a bond program manager earlier this year, is rolling out upgrades as it faces a roughly $31-million shortfall in Measure BB funds.

New purchase orders

The school board will weigh approval of more than $125,000 in new purchase orders.

The list of purchase orders includes more than $29,000 to the City of Santa Monica for annual maintenance; more than $13,000 to Alta Environmental for periodic inspections; up to $10,000 to Chevron for fuel; close to $10,000 to restaurant supply store Chefs’ Toys for a refrigerator at Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School in Malibu; and more than $9,300 to Ahern Rentals for an aerial lift at Santa Monica High School’s Barnum Hall.

Head Start

The school district is expected to receive up to $1.5 million from the county education office to operate federally backed Head Start preschools for about 150 children.

District officials see the preschool program as a step towards closing achievement gaps.

jeff@www.smdp.com