Students in the Multimedia Arts & Design Academy at Santa Barbara High School will move into a new building in early March, after extensive renovations finish transforming the old industrial arts building into a modern studio.
The MAD Academy has grown to 250 students a year since its start in 1996, and the much-needed space will be home to computer labs, studios, offices, lockers and conference rooms.
The academy will start testing the information-technology systems and using rooms as a staging area soon, but won’t move in completely until early March, according to academy director Dan Williams.
“Now I’m at the point of just wanting to jump in there,” Williams said.
The old machine shop areas have been revamped to make way for what Williams calls the career-technical programs of today — graphic design, photography, video editing and animation courses.
There will be a fundraiser March 2 at QAD to help complete the project’s capital campaign, since the academy is still $700,000 away from paying off the building, and needs $200,000 for furniture and equipment.
Many of the academy’s computers and lighting equipment can be moved over to the new building, while some tables and equipment will stay and be donated to the school, Williams said.
The old space probably will be used as computer labs.
The capital campaign received a $720,000 gift in November, which brings the total raised to $2.72 million of the $3.5 million construction cost.
The rest came from the Santa Barbara Unified School District, which gave $500,000, and $1.5 million from the state.