The rumble of trucks and growl of bulldozers can be heard all over town as construction crews finish up bond-funded projects for the Santa Barbara Unified School District.
Facilities project manager Carl Mayrose has supervised about $4 million worth of projects for the secondary district this summer.
“It’s an exciting time for us," he said. "It’s when we really go to work."
Most Measure Q-funded projects include improvements to electrical infrastructure, asphalt and drainage issues, but the Santa Barbara High School gym is getting an $844,000 overhaul.
The new maple floor, lighting system and ceiling make the gym seem much bigger and brighter, especially compared to the dark brown original floor that was removed.
There are new bleacher mechanisms, basketball hoops, and impact-resistant windows and scoreboards. In fact, the only things that were on the walls before and after the renovation are the jerseys and CIF championship board, said contractor Mike Jacobson of Frank Schipper Construction.
The entire gym was painted, too.
“It cleaned up nicely, it really has,” he said.
This week, the work crew was laying out strips of blue tape for the basketball and volleyball courts. They hope to be finished with the floor by late August, when the Dons volleyball team gets started, Mayrose said.
The SB Dons logo in the middle of the court was cut out of the old floor and will be hung in the gym’s entryway, he added.
The Santa Barbara High Alumni Assocation chipped in for the gym scoreboards, and has professional restoration crews cleaning up the ornate entrances on the main building, which is a historic structure at 700 E. Anapamu St.
Crews also have been busy at Santa Barbara Junior High, 721 E. Cota St., where they have repaved more than 100,000 square feet of asphalt between the basketball courts and Cota Street parking lot.
The whole school was basically built on a swamp, so there are sinkholes causing problems, Mayrose said. Contractors brought in rock to stabilize the ground and repaved the areas with better drainage for the $625,000 project.
Since the basketball courts are also used for event parking at The Marjorie Luke Theater, the asphalt has to be smooth enough for students to play on but strong enough for cars. It should last for about 20 years, Mayrose added.
Volunteer groups have been contributing to projects over the summer as well. There is a group redoing parking lot planters at San Marcos High School, 4750 Hollister Ave., and an electrician contractor volunteered to put in new lighting at San Marcos’ gym.
Millions have also been spent out of Measure R bond funds for the elementary schools this summer.
Adelante Charter School, 1102 E Yanonali St., is getting a permanent bathroom, which will be the campus’ only nonportable building on its campus.
Adelante shares its space with Franklin Elementary School, 1111 E. Mason St., and the new bathrooms will have stalls for students and adults as well as changing tables for special-needs students, facilities director Dave Hetyonk said.
Campuses such as Adelante’s had a lot of construction at different times, which leads to drainage issues, so several of the elementary schools are having work done over the summer, Hetyonk said.
School district trustees voted to sell the rest of the Measure Q & R general obligation bonds, which will bring in another $55 million for capital improvement projects.
The district worked with a construction-management firm to make a facilities assessment and priority list for bond-funded projects, which include libraries for Adams and Washington schools, 2701 Las Positas Road and 290 Lighthouse Road, respectively, and modernizing showers and locker rooms at Dos Pueblos High School, 7266 Alameda Ave.
There will be a lot more work done on roof and asphalt replacements in the next few years as well, Heytonk said.