Wednesday, December 13 , 2017, 4:01 am | Smoke 37º


Santa Barbara School Board OKs $28 Million Bid for Peabody Stadium Construction

A rendering of the Santa Barbara High School Peabody Stadium project by Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architects, Inc. Click to view larger
A rendering of the Santa Barbara High School Peabody Stadium project by Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architects, Inc.  (Courtesy photo)

Santa Barbara Unified School District is moving forward with the $28-million project to renovate Santa Barbara High School's Peabody Stadium.

The Board of Education approved the $28-million construction bid from Santa Clarita-based AMG & Associates this week. 

District officials expect construction work to start in August, and now estimate the project will be finished in April 2019. 

The project includes replacing the grandstand, replacing the track and replacing the field with turf, and upgrading site utilities, which turned out to be a costly portion of the total. 

Funding comes from a mix of public and private dollars. 

The district has allocated $13.2 million in voter-approved Measure Q bond funds and intends to use additional bond funds from savings on other projects, district spokeswoman Lauren Bianchi Klemann said. Unassigned Measure Q funds and some Measure I funds will go to the Peabody Stadium project. 

Some of the strategies to stretch bond funding include reducing the scope of other projects, adjusting inflation rates higher, using the lease-leaseback model for projects and reducing soft costs, she said. 

The Foundation for Santa Barbara High School has raised $4.7 million toward the project, and the state has contributed $6.3 million for seismic mitigation work.

On Tuesday, Board of Education members shut down the idea to redirect $6 million from the $20 million voter-approved Measure I bond funding, which guaranteed to purchase and renovate the National Guard's Santa Barbara Armory property.

Superintendent Cary Matsuoka said he would keep the Armory funds intact.

The construction cost estimates to revamp the 1920s-era facility have more than doubled in just a few years, mostly driven by the discovery of underground site work that had to be included in the more visible renovation work, according to district facilities staff. 

A design rendering of the Peabody Stadium grandstand, by Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architects, Inc. Click to view larger
A design rendering of the Peabody Stadium grandstand, by Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architects, Inc.  (Courtesy photo)

In 2014, the board was given an estimated project cost of $16.2 million, which was contracted by the Foundation for Santa Barbara High School and based on the original project plan by KBZ Architects. The district mandated the Santa Barbara-based architects to do the design work, according to Greg Tebbe, a board member of the foundation and campaign chairman for the school’s Peabody Stadium renovation.

Then the district discovered the project would have to include replacing underground drainage conduits said Dave Hetyonk, the district facilities director. 

Another expensive components is a replacing two failing storm drains to allow for continued pass through of municipal storm water systems, and to mitigate stadium fooding stadium and nearby residential areas, he said. 

Peabody Stadium renovation project plans include a new 2,300-seat concrete grandstand, which district officials say will bring the nearly 100-year-old facility into compliance with building and accessibility codes.

Santa Barbara High School Athletic Director Joe Chenoweth called the project “exciting for the SBHS student body (and) also for the community.”

The high school’s varsity home football games will be played at Santa Barbara City College, and the junior varsity and freshman team home games are expected to be at San Marcos High School or Dos Pueblos High School, Chenoweth said.

The soccer and lacrosse games will likely be played at Santa Barbara Junior High School, with the possibility of some games at SBCC or the Dwight Murphy Field recreation space in Santa Barbara, Chenoweth said. 

“Ultimately, this construction project will create logistical challenges, but we are fortunate the school district has a positive working relationship with both SBCC and the city of Santa Barbara,” Chenoweth wrote in an email.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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