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C.W. Driver Breaks Ground on First Phase of Malibu High School Expansion for Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District

MALIBU, CA — C.W. Driver Companies, a builder serving California since 1919, begins construction on the first phase of Malibu High School’s expansion for Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD). The 70,000-square-foot building, scheduled for completion in fall of 2025, will feature a library, visual and performing arts classrooms, project-based learning facilities, multipurpose spaces, special education classrooms, STEM classrooms, a campus cafeteria, and administration offices.

The $100 million Malibu High School core building will be built on the site of the former Juan Cabrillo Elementary School campus, immediately adjacent to the existing high school. The new two-story building will have an open breezeway between concrete and copper-clad walls, inspired by the native landscape. Outdoor common space for the school’s students will be partially shaded by an overhead canopy with built-in photovoltaic panels that will generate power for the school and contribute to the campus’ energy conservation.

“C.W. Driver has the dedicated skill set and many years in school construction required for a project of this scope,” said Karl Kreutziger, President of C.W. Driver Companies. “Our extensive experience spans over 150 K-12 projects for more than 23 different school districts, totaling close to $2.2 billion worth of construction over the past 30 years. Having the opportunity to work on this project for SMMUSD is a perfect fit for us and our capabilities.” 

The groundbreaking comes after C.W. Driver’s extensive preconstruction, which involved the demolition and removal of nine buildings at the former elementary school (clearing approximately 38,853 square feet of older construction). As part of that process, C.W. Driver was able to scope the photovoltaic panels under a design-build method to ensure proper design coordination with the roof steel trellis. Also, the demolition and abatement scopes were executed while the plans were with the Division of the State Architect to ensure the construction end date could be met.

“We are excited to begin construction of the new Malibu High School,” said SMMUSD Superintendent Dr. Antonio Shelton. “This school will allow our students to have an educational experience that encourages exploration, project-based learning, and the importance of collaboration. Our students will have classrooms that are safe, conducive to learning, and large enough to facilitate instructional practices that are cutting edge.” 

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C.W. Driver is working with NAC Architecture on the project. Other partners include Koning Eizenberg Architecture; demolition specialists AMPCO North; Pfeiler & Associates Engineers; California Solar Integrators, Inc.; and Hunsaker and Associates. The project is funded by Measure M, passed by Malibu voters in 2018.

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