Friday, May 27 , 2016, 6:06 am | Fair 56º

School Campuses Bustle with Construction as Summer Renovations Hustle Toward Completion

Major projects include new libraries, remodeled classrooms and upgraded computer labs and a multimedia center

By Shaun Kahmann, Noozhawk Intern | @NoozhawkNews |

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With students on summer break, schools throughout Santa Barbara County’s South Coast are bustling to finish construction projects. 

The Santa Barbara Unified School District is undertaking maintenance projects at 15 of its 22 campuses, with most set for completion by mid-August.

Long-term projects include new libraries for Adams and Washington schools, with Adams scheduled to break ground Aug. 7.

The new libraries will replace 40-year-old modular buildings, which were in use for nearly twice their recommended lifespan, said David Hetyonk, the school district’s facilities and operations director.

“This is a project that has has been promised to voters and the community for a long time,” he said. “It’s an exciting time for our district to provide upgraded schools to our kids.”

Monte Vista School in the Hope Elementary School District will also be building a new permanent library to replace the old one made from temporary structures.

The many Santa Barbara Unified School District projects are being funded with the $110 million in Measures Q and R bond funds.

Peabody Charter School and Harding University Partnership School will both be getting new playground equipment and site improvements.

There are auditorium renovations under way at La Cumbre Junior High School and McKinley School’s kitchen is being remodeled this summer.

There are other, less-visible projects going on behind the scenes at many schools, including roofing repairs and heating system upgrades.

The Goleta Union School District, the Carpinteria Unified School District and Cold Spring School in Montecito currently have no construction projects planned.

The Montecito Union School District is hoping that voters in November will approve a $27 million bond measure to address deferred maintenance and other projects.

Montecito Union Superintendent Tammy Murphy said the district has spent $1 million developing a master plan that includes a new cafeteria and a traffic loop near the campus on San Ysidro Road.

“There hasn’t been any work done in 20 years,” she said.

“This is one of the best things we can do for the community in the long term, to give something of value to generations of future Montecito kids.”

Many of the area’s private schools have construction crews at work over the summer, as well.

At Bishop Garcia Diego High School, crews are working on a new media center to house classes for graphic arts and video editing. It is located next to the studio and control room for the school’s daily news broadcast, BDTV

Dan Yokubaitis, the school’s technology and multimedia instructor, hopes the studio will spark student interest in media and provide better quality broadcasts.

Yokubaitis said he wants to get BDTV aired on public access television in the near future.

“We’re bringing the studio up to industry standards,” he said.

“We redesigned the entire lighting grid, included HD upgrades, and a new switch. It’s a big deal to locals to be able to access our content.”

Marymount of Santa Barbara’s lower school will be upgrading its second- through fifth-grade classrooms as part of a five-year plan that will include a new science and engineering lab and renovations to the school’s theater.

Laguna Blanca School is adding a sand volleyball court, school officials said.

Noozhawk intern Shaun Kahmann can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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