Construction on a new building at Santa Monica High School officially began Tuesday.

The Discovery Building, which is scheduled to open by the end of 2021, will house 38 classrooms for the school’s M and O houses, including science and computer labs, three multipurpose rooms, common areas and seminar rooms. The building will also be home to a full-service kitchen and cafeteria, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a suite for medically fragile students and a rooftop garden classroom. 288 parking spaces will be incorporated into the three-story, 280,000 square-foot complex.

Voters approved Measure ES in 2012 to fund the Discovery Building and other facilities improvements with $385 million.

“We are so grateful to the community for its continuing and unwavering support of our plans to improve the facilities at Santa Monica High School over the years,” said Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein, president of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s board of education.

Samohi held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, where Principal Antonio Shelton said the building will make Samohi more cutting-edge.

“This building is planned to support 21st-century, future-ready learning with larger classrooms, breakout spaces and common areas that will support differing modalities of learning,” Shelton said.

The building replaces the Science and Technology Buildings, which were demolished last summer, and follows the fall 2015 completion of the neighboring Innovation Building, which provided 15 science labs, 18 classrooms and common areas.

Samohi student body president Ryan Chien said he is excited to see the school continue to develop following the passage of Measure SMS, a $485 million bond, last November.

“The innovation of Santa Monica and our school does not stop here,” Chien said. “We’ve gotten this far because of such a close-knit supportive community and we should have no intention of holding back.”

madeleine@smdp.com

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