In February 2009, the District submitted the Civic Center Joint Use Project (CCJUP) to the City to be considered for funding by the City’s Redevelopment Agency (RDA).  The City Council/RDA Agency allocated $57 million to Phase I of the project at its May 2009 meeting.  Of the $57 million, $3.3 million has been appropriated by the Agency for the 2009-10 fiscal year to begin programming, schematic design and design development, which will take 12-18 months.  An additional $25 million was allocated for parking in the Civic Center; Samohi is considered to be part of the Civic Center.


Initial meetings between District and City staff have been very productive, resulting in formation of three working groups to begin implementing the CCJUP.  The Funding Agreement working group which held its first and very successful meeting on October 2, 2009. is working on the funding, financing and cash flow between the RDA and the District as well as contract language that will define what the money is to be used for, maintenance and operations issues, access, management and construction.  These tasks and responsibilities have been broken into two documents.

The first document being developed is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City/RDA and the District. A more complex Cooperation Agreement will be developed over the next year.  The MOU is a fairly straightforward document that confirms that the funds currently available will be spent for the planning of the project (programming, schematic and design development).  The goal is to have the MOU approved by the Board and the City/RDA in December 2009.

The Cooperation Agreement is a much more complex document that will detail responsibilities for maintenance and operations, hours of operation, access, construction, management, and other issues relating to the implementation of the CCJUP.  The terms of this agreement will be accompanied by an analysis of potential other sources of funding for the project and if none are found, a “finding” will be made,  stating that no other reasonable source of funding is available besides RDA funding. This finding is required for the RDA to release funds for construction.

A Programming, Operations and Design Development working group has also been formed that will initially develop a timeline and tasks (including community workshops) to take the vision of the CCJUP (below) and begin to make it real by looking at desired uses, school and District needs for the site as well as the community’s desires for increased cultural and recreational opportunities on the site.  A kick-off meeting of this group is scheduled for early November.

A third group has been formed to address the very complicated issue of meeting the Civic Center and Samohi’s parking needs for planned enhanced cultural and recreational venues and opportunities.  A kick-off meeting is also planned for early November.


A presentation updating the progress on the CCJUP was presented to the Board of Education at its September 17, 2009 meeting. The PowerPoint that was used may be viewed in PDF by clicking here.
District staff has conducted interviews to obtain legal assistance with developing the above-mentioned agreements and financing plans with the City and expects to bring a recommendation to the Board in late October or early November.
Additionally, District staff is refining scopes of work for architectural services and support services (geotechnical, utility survey, etc.) and expects to bring recommendations to the Board in November as well.
The CCJUP was presented as a vision for the Civic Center as well as for Samohi. It was presented in three phases, thus programming, schematic design as well as design development will need to be done for all three phases, as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) will require sufficient detail in order for an EIR to be created for the entire CCJUP.


The Redevelopment Agency expects to present its new Five-Year Implementation Plan for 2009 – 2014 at the November 10, 2009 Council/Agency meeting.  The Plan will be released during the week prior to the meeting.
Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund  (ERAF) was created by the State to take tax increment revenues from local RDAs to meet the 2009-10 and 2010-11 state budget deficits.  This means that $19 million of tax increment funds from the ERRP collected in the 2009-10 fiscal year will be sent to the State.  This also means that there will be less money available for the RDA to allocate to projects.  About $4.5 million is identified for the 2010-11 fiscal year.   A lawsuit which will attempt to prevent the State from taking this action is anticipated.
Assessed Values.  According to the LA County Assessor’s 2009 Annual Report, property values in Santa Monica increased 2.6% in 2009 over 2008.  The report does not provide data for the ERRP, however it will effect RDA projections of total available funding for projects when the RDA presents its report next year.

From the May 12, 2009 Council meeting:
A Special Joint Meeting of the Council and the Redevelopment Agency was convened.
The Council received a supplemental report on the Redevelopment Agency Capital Funding priorities and heard additional public testimony. The Council discussed approaches to determining funding allocation for various projects and spoke about concepts and priorities that have been expressed by the community over time. The Council approved a motion allocating funding toward the following senior priorities, in amounts recommended in the staff report unless otherwise noted: Civic Center Joint Use Project at Santa Monica High School ($57 million, equivalent to the estimated cost of Phase 1, Alternative 1),  Civic Center shared parking, Civic Center early childhood development center ($4.4m), Pico Neighborhood Library, Exposition Light Rail station improvements, Civic Center transit-serving streets and pathways, Civic Auditorium improvements, Civic Auditorium park and cultural improvements, Palisades Garden Walk and Memorial Park planning ($2.3m).  Council noted that funding allocations toward other priority projects would occur following additional Council consideration.

Click here to read the complete Civic Center Joint Use Project Proposal
(updated 4/6/11)

The Board of Education contracted with R. L. Binder, FAIA Architecture and Planning to develop a siting study for the Samohi campus that integrates it with the Civic Auditorium Campus across 4th Street.   Her work resulted in a design for the Final Buildout for Samohi.  The Civic Center Joint-Use Project envisions a step in the realization of her design.

The Final Buildout includes construction of a new Science and Technology Plaza, as described, below, followed by the demolition and replacement of the existing Business, Administration, Language and Cafeteria buildings, the construction of two new Classroom Buildings, Library, Student Union, Cafeteria, and Art Center, as well as redefinition of the current quad bordered by the original campus English and History Buildings and the pedestrian 6th Street student plaza. A full renovation of the existing History and English buildings will complete the Final Buildout. Click here to download the full text of the Final Buildout.


(Click on image for larger view.)

The compilation above is created from the following sources: Base picture courtesy of Google maps; City Hall and the Court Building from the approved Santa Monica Civic Center Specific Plan, 2005; RAND and the Village from the City’s staff reports; Recommended Civic Auditorium Campus from Koning Eizenberg Architecture’s PowerPoint presentation to City Council; Samohi Master Plan by R. L. Binder. Click here to be taken to the City’s link to the PowerPoint.


Samohi will begin a four-year celebration of its centennial on Prospect Hill in 2013 with the completion of the District’s Measure BB-funded Science and Technology Plaza, which constructs:
  • 15 new, state-of-the art science labs
  • 18 new classrooms
  • Computer lab
  • Auto shop
  • Temporary softball field
  • Temporary parking
  • New 7th & Michigan entrance
Construction cost: $57 million   Groundbreaking: November 2010   Completion: February 2013

This exciting, sustainable new facility meets the rigorous California High Performing Schools (CHPS) ‘green’ standards.  The design creates a building that is energy and resource efficient while providing classrooms that are comfortable, well-lit and contain the needed amenities for quality education. 

Completion is scheduled for February 2013 – 100 years to the month from when the first 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders walked on to the new Samohi campus on Prospect Hill.

The Civic Center Joint-Use Project is designed for each centennial graduating class to inaugurate a newly, reborn part of Samohi for the school and the community.


Images of Samohi Tomorrow

The District is proposing a partnership between the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to redevelop the cultural, recreational and public realm areas of Samohi’s campus for use by Samohi during school hours and by the public, under the management of the City, during non-school hours. The Project proposes using funds from the City’s Earthquake Recovery Redevelopment Project (EDRP) and District property.

The total estimated cost for the Joint-Use Project is $235 million (2008 dollars) beginning in the 2009-
10 fiscal year. The District is seeking funding from the City’s Redevelopment Agency. NO NEW TAXES OR INCREASES ARE NEEDED AND NO CUTS IN ANY CITY SERVICES ARE REQUIRED TO FUND THIS PROJECT.

The Civic Center Joint-Use Project is planned to start in July 2009 with the initial design work for Phase I beginning in July 2009 and extending through the completion of Phase II in June 2016.






Phase I
Alt 1
Create a 60'-wide Michigan Avenue pedestrian/ bicycle Promenade that runs through the campus of Samohi between 7th and 4th connecting the Pico Neighborhood to the Civic Center that is open to the public during non-school hours.

Construct a new, lighted, synthetic turfed football/ soccer/rugby/lacrosse field with and 8-lane CIF track and 2500-seat stadium with field house and concession stands.

Construct six, new lighted tennis courts with viewing stand.

Construct a 500-space, semi-subterranean parking garage under the field and tennis courts.
(Click on image for larger view.) TOTAL COST:
$58.1 million in June 2008 dollars

Begin design: 2009

Construction completed:
June 2014

Phase I
Alt 2

Construct a new regulation-sized, lighted soccer/rugby/lacrosse field with synthetic turf on the site of the current north parking lot and science and Tech buildings.

Beneath the soccer field, taking advantage of the slope of Prospect Hill, construct a new, full-facility gym, practice gym and Olympic-sized pool with locker rooms, weight room, dance studio and support spaces.  This complex will have floor-to-ceiling windows facing west across 6th Street and the new football/soccer/rugby/ lacrosse field.  Users will enter at mezzanine level with the gym floors and pool below grade.

(Click on image for larger view.)
$118.3 million in June 2008 dollars

Begin design: July 2010

Construction Completed: June 2015
Phase II Construct new synthetic turf softball and baseball fields (combined for use as a soccer/rugby/lacrosse field) and four, new, lighted basketball courts.

Construct a new, single-level 450-space subterranean parking structure under fields.

Construct new truss-stage for the amphitheatre, support buildings, and lighting and sound infrastructure.

Upgrade storm water management for the site.

Upgrade the Greek Theatre with a new loading dock accessed from Pico Boulevard, new restrooms underneath a redesigned cafeteria and in a new field house; full under-grounding of all sound and light infrastructure, and a new open frame proscenium and new changing rooms. With the removal of the gyms and pool building, the historic vista to the sea will be restored.

(Click on image for larger view.)
$58.6 million in 2008 dollars

Begin design: July 2011

Construction Completed:
June 2016


The Civic Center Joint-Use Project will provide the residents of Santa Monica with:

  1. A new 60’-wide pedestrian/bicycle promenade that connects the eastern part of the City to Samohi, the Civic Center, the Pier and Palisades Park, and the Beach
  2. Increases public access hours to fields and track by 143%
  3. Increases public access to basketball courts by 74%
  4. Increases public access to gyms by 157%
  5. Increase public access to the pool by 21%
  6. Creates greatly expanded use of the Memorial Greek Theatre
  7. Provides expanded parking opportunities for City planning
  8. Provides improved flexibility for planning for the Civic Auditorium Campus
  9. Creates new opportunities for public art and art festivals
  10. Provides alternatives for future uses of semi-subterranean garages (Governmental offices, art studios, dance studios, etc.)
  11. Provides alternatives for City planners in replacement of Pier parking
  12. Provides park-and-ride alternatives for the Expo Line


Join us in realizing this legacy opportunity for our community.
You can download the full Civic Center Joint-Use Proposal by clicking here.

You can email your support to:

Questions or comments may be directed to