Santa Monica Alternative School House

  • Santa Monica Alternative School House
    Exterior view of Santa Monica Alternative School House.

    Muir-Smash Proposed Improvements
    One proposal for altering the campus to include a music stage and outdoor maker/MPR space and more.

    The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is moving forward with its extensive modernization and construction projects at John Muir Elementary. Check out what we’re completing:

    Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC)

    Muir HVAC

    Hooray! The upgrade and modernization of the new HVAC system is nearly completed. Before modernization the classroom spaces only had heat and minimal ventilation. When temperatures rose wall fans were the only reprieve from learning loss. 

    • The new HVAC system provides fresh ventilated air, more efficient heat in the winter and cooling in the summer.
    • Thermostats will allow the systems to be sustainable.
    • The new HVAC system is in use providing students a comfortable learning space and a healthier safer environment during the pandemic.

    Updated Sinks and Restrooms to Current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ) Code

    muir sink

    • Sinks have been modified to be ADA accessible in classrooms.
    • Restrooms have been adjusted to meet ADA code, cleaned and resealed.

    Classroom Refresh

    Muir classroom refresh

    • New carpeting installed
    • Non-wax flooring throughout classrooms
    • Walk off mats at every entrance
    • Interior of classrooms painted

    Exterior Trim Painted

    muir trim paint

    • Fresh coat of blue paint on the trim
    • New doors

    Shade Structures Added

    muir shade structures

    • Added shade structures to enhance outdoor learning areas.
    • Temperature reduction in shaded areas.
    • Protection from harmful UV rays
    • ADA-accessible pathways and seating areas

    Upgraded Fire Alarm Systems

    Fire Alarms at Muir

    Children spend many hours at school, so it is crucial that their educational environment is safe and prepared for emergencies. A school fire alarm system is important to ensuring everyone inside the school is able to exit safely and be accounted for during an emergency.  As part of the District's extensive modernization project new state-of-the-art fire alarm systems have been installed at Muir/SMASH.

    • The new alarm system is voice activated.
    • System identifies the specific room in trouble.
    • The existing fire alarm systems at Muir/SMASH will remain functional until the new systems are completely certified by the end of April.
    • This should reduce false alarms.

    This modernization project has been very challenging.  Along with the usual impacts and distractions of construction we have had to navigate through the pandemic, supply chain issues, significant rain and vandalism.  We appreciate the staff and community’s patience as we work towards a better facility.

    Coming Soon!

    • New clock bell public address system.
    • New intrusion alarm.

    For more information on Facility Improvement Projects, go to

    What’s next: Planning future projects

    Architects and district staff are working to envision possible projects to improve the campus to help prepare for the ways children will learn in and help prepare students for 21st century jobs.

    In June, an online community meeting was held, during which the campus assessment, which includes proposed changes to campus, was presented.

    Based on feedback from that meeting and meetings with educators, administrators and staff, architects are fine tuning the proposals, estimating costs and proposing the order in which projects would be done. Chosen projects would be funded by bonds from Measure SMS, passed by voters in 2018.

    Another meeting will be held in September. When it’s available, you’ll be able to find the meeting schedule at the campus assessment page. You’ll also be able to learn more about the campus assessment process itself.

    Safety and security projects
    If you’re a parent, you’ve likely seen the visitor verification system now in use across the district. It helps staff know who people are and who is on campus.

    Cameras: We are finishing up a perimeter camera system pilot project at Samohi and will be rolling that out districtwide.

    Electronic locks: The locks mentioned above will not only allow doors to be secured remotely in an emergency, it also allows keycard access that can be more easily managed than dozens of keys.

    Previous improvements

    In January 2011, a new pedestrian gate was installed which features remote access that allows school staff to control access to the campus from the main office. The system includes a two-way voice communication, keypad to access the school and a video camera that enables staff to recognize visitors at the gate.

    The campus was also upgraded to the district’s technology standards, including faster wi-fi access points and Smart Boards in some classrooms.

    Muir-SMASH Facilities Update - Spring 2022
    Muir-SMASH Building Updates

    Building Futures / Futuro de los Edificios

    Building Futures Archives
    Fall 2021: English/Spanish

Project Contact