Thursday, June 21 , 2018, 9:52 pm | Fair 61º


Construction Projects Giving Santa Barbara School District Campuses a Fresh Look

Measures Q&R fuel building boom as schools tackle a long list of renovation needs and upgrades

Shovels are breaking ground all over the Santa Barbara Unified School District as summer campus construction gets under way.

Most of the projects are funded by general obligation bond Measures Q and R, which provided $75 million and $35 million to the secondary and elementary districts, respectively.

All the schools will have new wireless infrastructure by fall, said David Hetyonk, the district’s director of facilities and operations. Some computer labs will still have hard-wired devices, but all portable devices will be able to access the Internet on any campus.

At the same time, nearly 100 classrooms will be getting technology packages installed so teachers can connect their iPads wirelessly to flat-screen televisions. The days of white board drawings and projector screens are already long gone for dozens of SBUSD classrooms.

After school let out for the summer last month, district employees showed off some construction sites at Cleveland Elementary and San Marcos and Santa Barbara high schools, where crews were busily working on improvements.

At Cleveland, 123 Alameda Padre Serra, employees were installing new playground equipment and retaining walls to fix the bad drainage and pooling water.

New Cleveland Principal Cynthia White was excited to see the upgrades, noting that nothing on such a scale had been undertaken before at the campus. She also asked the community for donations for a student garden.

There are major construction projects under way at the three high schools as workers take advantage of the empty campuses.

At San Marcos High, 4750 Hollister Ave., workers are building a new wing to replace portable classrooms and house the Health Careers Academy. The new wing’s south side will include science and computer labs, a health technology room, an office and library/media room exclusively for academy students. There will be four general classrooms on the other end of the building.

The Health Careers Academy, which partners with Cottage Health System and SBCC, will be able to double enrollment in the fall once there’s more space from the new wing, academy director Marcene Newman hopes.

Carl Mayrose, SBUSD’s project manager for construction, said no major improvements had been done at the San Marcos campus since 1959. Employees tried to move several portable classroom buildings and they just fell apart — some of them are upward of 40 years old — so a few of the structures were taken to the landfill and replaced.

At Santa Barbara High, 700 E. Anapamu St., construction just started on the school’s Multimedia Arts & Design Academy building after demolition was completed, Hetyonk said. The new building will have two computer labs and two classrooms/work areas for students to do filming, photography and design programs. The $2.6 million construction cost is funded through state career-technical education grants, MAD Academy fundraising and developer fees (which people pay to get building permits) from Goleta, Santa Barbara and the county, Hetyonk said.

The state gave SBUSD a $1.44 million grant for the project and loaned the district another $1.44 million, which the foundation is paying back in 10 annual payments, Hetyonk said.

SBUSD construction project manager Carl Mayrose describes the faculty dining area adjacent to the revamped kitchen at Santa Barbara High. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)
SBUSD construction project manager Carl Mayrose describes the faculty dining area adjacent to the revamped kitchen at Santa Barbara High. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Workers are also renovating Santa Barbara High’s kitchen and dining room, re-plastering the swimming pool and relocating a computer lab. The new kitchen, which will become a teaching kitchen, has been a priority for the district’s Board of Trustees since the bond measures passed in 2010. Mold, lead and asbestos had to be removed, district staff said.

Dos Pueblos High, 7266 Alameda Ave., is making theater improvements funded by philanthropist Virgil Elings and demolishing some portable buildings that are no longer needed due to the new classroom space in the Elings Center for Engineering Education.

District employees also are repaving the staff parking lot and making drainage and surfacing improvements to Cafeteria Road.

Meanwhile, helicopters will be flying over the campus this week to help place new HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) units on the roofs of multiple buildings.

“It’s one of our busiest summers in a long time,” Hetyonk said.

Other summer construction projects:

The district is implementing a new lock-and-key system to tighten up security, and the blanks can’t be purchased anywhere except the factory, Hetyonk said.

» Adams School, 2701 Las Positas Road: Workers are adding outdoor kitchen areas to the kindergarten building and fixing drainage issues on the exterior of the building, which had water pool against the doors.

» Harding University Partnership School,1625 Robbins St.: The kitchen is getting a new floor and new lighting.

» La Colina Junior High, 4025 Foothill Road: A four-classroom building is being demolished and the parking lot is being repaved.

» La Cumbre Junior High, 2255 Modoc Road: Heating and ventilation work is being done in the band room.

» McKinley School, 350 Loma Alta Drive: New playground equipment is being installed this summer.

» Peabody Charter School, 3018 Calle Noguera: A portable classroom is being moved to make room for a new restroom building and the kindergarten building will be repainted and re-roofed.

» Washington School, 290 Lighthouse Road: Crews are demolishing the portable building library and will build new ones at both Washington and Adams once design work is completed and approved. As part of the air-quality testing results, the HVAC systems on portable buildings will be replaced.

Click here for more information on the Santa Barbara Unified School District facilities bonds that are providing funds for the construction and renovation projects.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Staff writer Lara Cooper contributed to this report. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

A new gateway is under wraps at San Marcos High. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)
A new gateway is under wraps at San Marcos High. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >