Sunday, June 17 , 2018, 6:43 pm | Mostly Cloudy 64º

 
 
 
 

Laguna Blanca School Unveils Eco-Friendly Parking Plaza

The Laguna Blanca School Board of Trustees, faculty and supporters gathered Aug. 21 at the Hope Ranch campus to unveil the school’s new environmentally-friendly parking plaza.

The transformation of the area began just after graduation in June and is now open, just in time for the first day of school on Wednesday. Construction was led by Schipper Construction, KBZ Architects, Stonemark Construction Management and Earthform Design.

Laguna Blanca’s parking plaza will be a showcase for environmentally responsible development on campus. In partnership with the county and the Hope Ranch community, the school worked hard to design a space that incorporates earth-friendly elements.

“This parking plaza is probably the most environmentally advanced application of green design and construction techniques in Santa Barbara County, perhaps even the state,” said an enthusiastic Don Donaldson, principal engineer at Penfield and Smith, who led the engineering on the project.

Sustainable Design Features of New Parking Plaza

» Cutting-edge pervious concrete surface and permeable pavers at parking stalls along with use of bioswales to increase on-site storm water infiltration and reduce or eliminate pollution before it leaves the site.

» Instead of using traditional black asphalt paving materials that absorb and then emit solar heat, pavements and walkways are light-colored to reduce heat island effect by increasing reflectivity of the surfaces. Additionally, existing and new tree canopies provide increased shading of the parking surfaces, further reducing heat island effects.

» Lighting fixtures mitigate night sky pollution; low level site lights have motion sensors that reduce light levels when walkways are not in use. Light fixtures use high-efficiency LED light sources to reduce energy.

» 10 percent of parking spaces are designated for clean air, vanpool or electric vehicles.

» Installation of 57 new trees, and drought tolerant shrubs and ground covers that complement the existing native species and canopies on and adjacent to the site.

» High-efficiency irrigation systems (e.g. drip) and controls to maximize irrigation to the tree and planting root systems and minimize water loss to evaporation.

» Wastewater Advanced Treatment System (ATS) to collect and treat the gymnasium’s wastewater so it can be used to irrigate athletic fields. Installation of additional piping for upper campus to connect to the system during future phases.

Laguna Blanca School received a generous leadership gift, specifically for this project, from Alison Wrigley Rusack and Geoffrey Rusack, which is the single largest capital improvement donation to the school in its 80-year history.

The Rusacks have been an active and generous force in the Laguna Blanca School community for more than 15 years. Both Geoff and Alison have served on the school’s Board of Trustees and in the role of board chair. Their generous gift was directed toward the completion of the parking area that surrounds Merovick Gymnasium and the athletic complex. This single gift, combined with generous gifts from the community over the past few years, has given the school the funds needed to transform the area into an eco-friendly parking plaza.

“The completion of this new parking plaza is incredibly important to the Laguna Blanca School’s 80-year history and future legacy,” said Tom Pickett, board chair. “Under the terms of our approved Master Campus Improvement Plan with the City and County of Santa Barbara, our school was required to complete the parking plaza construction before other renovations can be made to the Hope Ranch campus. The Rusacks’ gift is the catalyst for the school to pursue further renovations and improvements.”

As part of Laguna Blanca School’s 80th anniversary celebrations, there will be a “Birthday Party” during Homecoming Weekend on Oct. 19, where the school will recognize and honor all those who helped support the parking lot’s eco-friendly renovation.

For more information about Laguna Blanca School and for those interested in arranging a visit, please contact Joyce Balak, the director of admission and financial aid, at [email protected] or 805.687.2461 x210.

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing Laguna Blanca School.

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 >