Simi Elementary School: A 10-Year Timeline and History

Simi El
Simi Elementary School, 1947

On Monday, June 16, 2014, the Simi Valley Unified School District will hold a Public Hearing on the potential closure of Simi Elementary School. This is not a board meeting and no decision will be made at the hearing. The hearing’s purpose is strictly to hear public comment on the issue.

Simi Elementary School has been the topic of many SVUSD School Board meetings and much public discourse for several months, beginning with the District Advisory Committee’s (DAC) request in January that the School Board decide what would be done to repair the front/main building before the DAC makes a recommendation on the school’s future.

Shortly after this, the entire school body was relocated to Mountain View Elementary, amid serious concerns about the safety of the entire Simi Elementary School campus. The physical campus has remained vacant since then, pending further School Board action, but the school continues to operate separately at the Mountain View campus.

The link below will direct you to a comprehensive timeline documenting the history of Simi Elementary School’s physical campus over the past 10 years, beginning shortly after the 2004 passage of Measure C4, the $145 million facilities and technology bond to modernize all of the District’s campuses. This information has been gathered to factually answer the many questions and concerns about how the campus was maintained over the years; what Measure C4 Bond funds and additional monies were spent on maintaining and improving the campus; and how the District and School Board responded to the rapid physical decline of the campus.

Simi Elementary Timeline

BOARD REPORT: Special Board Workshop on Measure C4 Bond


On April 8, 2014, the five-member SVUSD Board of Trustees met for a Special Board Meeting-Measure C4 Bond Workshop to discuss how to spend the bond’s remaining $17.1 million.

As of Feb. 28, about $75 million in bond funds remain for bond-authorized projects. Of that, $57.8 million is already committed to projects in varied states of progression. The remaining $17.1 million still needs to be decided upon.

As this was only a workshop and not a formal board meeting, District staff asked the Board what projects might move forward. This means that from a dense list of projects suggested, the board would remove those projects it didn’t want to consider. There was no commitment made by the Board to move forward with any of these projects; only direction to staff to gather more information from staff about each project’s costs and needs.

The projects for consideration totaled about $28.7 million with Simi Elementary School’s projects adding almost $10.6 million. The total of all the projects under consideration is $39.3 million.

The list of projects and potential costs is linked HERE. You’ll find it on page 3 of the meeting agenda. From that list, the board removed proposed improvements to the Education Service Center (District office) for $2.9 million. All other projects remain for consideration.

The Board members discussed the history behind the unfinished Measure C4 bond projects. For several years at the start of the bond, there was a boom in public school bonds and modernization projects throughout California. As a result, construction costs rose substantially, making many of the originally planned projects throughout the district’s schools too expensive to complete. At that time the Board prioritized projects that solved health and safety concerns and upgraded technology. Every campus was left with projects that were not completed.

The Board indicated that when they continue considering the listed projects that they will likely take the same approach and place a higher priority on those projects that are needed for health and safety concerns, such as the roofs at eight school sites, refurbishing the HVAC systems at several schools and concrete pavement repairs and improvements.

Public Comment:

Nine people commented publicly at the meeting. Seven were in support of allocating remaining Measure C4 bond money to Simi Elementary School’s improvements. One speaker, speaking as a member of the ICOC, asked that the board consider all of the projects NOT completed from the bond due to increased construction costs in the bond’s early days which caused some projects to be taken off of those schools’ lists. And one speaker, a teacher from Royal High School, asked for the completion of a student patio at Royal High School. This project is listed for consideration.

Simi Elementary concerns:

While the Board was not making any decisions about Simi Elementary’s future, trustees did ask District staff to obtain a more accurate cost for the repairs needed at the school. Also, staff was asked to provide the process for transitioning an elementary school into a magnet model, following one of the suggestions to transform Simi El into a performing arts/technology magnet elementary school.

The next regular SVUSD Board Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 15 at City Hall. Closed session starts at 5:30 p.m. and open session will begin at 6:30 p.m. The full agenda and back up materials will be posted to the District’s website by Friday afternoon.