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Santa Monica-Malibu School District Opens New $33 Million Edison Language Academy Campus

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By Jason Islas
Staff Writer

January 23, 2014 -- After more than two years of construction, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District officials celebrated the opening of Edison Language Academy's new $33 million campus Tuesday.

The campus, which was entirely rebuilt, has 27 classrooms for grade K through 5, a “cafetorium,” administrative offices, library and computer lab.

And, when phase two finishes this fall, the bilingual magnet school will have a completely new playground and field.

“The old Edison campus was built over 60 years ago,” District officials said. “Based on need, the Edison campus is the only school in the district that will be completely rebuilt.”

The new campus boasts a wide-range of environmentally-friendly features and technological improvements designed to augment the students' learning environment.

“The Edison Language Academy project reflects Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) criteria by improved day lighting, improved air quality and natural ventilation, reduced water use and storm water treatment,” District officials said.

The new buildings use a “solar chimney” system to regulate temperatures.

“The two-story tall solar chimneys gain large amounts of heat through sun exposure, which draws air from below as the hot air rises,” officials said. “Operable windows at the back of the classroom buildings allow cooler air to enter, which is then drawn up through the solar chimneys and out above the buildings, keeping a constant flow of cool, fresh air through the classrooms.”

Each classroom will have nine computers, one for the teacher's use and eight for the students. And, classrooms will also have “SMART” boards, interactive white boards.

While students and faculty moved into the new buildings earlier this month, the District held an official opening ceremony Monday.

The overhaul of Edison's aged campus was one of several district-wide projects funded by Proposition BB, a $268 million bond approved by voters in 2006.

“This bond money has been utilized to upgrade technology throughout the district, increase
safety and security through fire alarm upgrades and gate access improvements, and to modernize
and build new facilities at multiple campuses,” officials said.

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