December 17, 2017

MBUSD Board of Trustees test for environmental impacts for new gym

Measure EE is a $39 million plan to rebuild Mira Costa's Fisher Gym. The district also plans to construct new locker rooms, offices, training facilities, and more.

Kyra Williams

News Editor

The Manhattan Beach Unified School District Board of Trustees approved a motion on Nov. 6 at its School Board meeting regarding a study on the future environmental impacts of construction for the proposed Measure EE.

Measure EE is a $39 million measure to replace the outdated and undersized gymnasium at Mira Costa. The new gym’s total construction is expected to take approximately 18 months, and MBUSD hopes the plans will be approved and ready to go to the Division of the State Architect in February, MBUSD Deputy Superintendent Dawnalyn Murakawa-Leopard said.

“We will do everything in our power to move this project along as quickly as possible so we can deliver the gym that was promised to the community,” MBUSD President Jennifer Cochran said.  

According to the California Environmental Quality Act, state and local agencies in California must follow a protocol of analysis and publicly disclose the environmental impacts of proposed projects. MBUSD carried out an environmental examination in September to determine if there would be any considerable environmental impacts from the future construction of the new gym.

“The study found that there would not be any significant environmental impact from this project,” Cochran said. “This is not a surprise to us because we are taking down one gym and replacing it with another facility, in the same location, which is intended for the same purpose as the current gym.”

MBUSD carried out the examinations in order to clear the site for construction. The District worked alongside Placeworks, an urban planning department, to analyze possible environmental concerns, and to evaluate how detrimental those effects would be.

The initial study found that the building of the Costa Gym would result in little to no environmental impacts. The CEQA published the Initial Study and Notice of Intent to Adopt a Negative Declaration in September, and the public review period, during which the public can make comments, ended on Oct. 19.

“[MBUSD] is now able to move forward with its plans and submitting those plans to the DSA for approval,” Murakawa-Leopard said. “[MBUSD] will do everything in our power to move this project along as quickly as possible so we can deliver the gym that was promised to the community.”

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