Wednesday, August 15 , 2018, 4:37 am | Fair 65º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara School Board Approves Bond-Funded Project Priority List

Trustees also approve bond sales for the $135 million Measure I and $58-million Measure J that voters passed in November

The Santa Barbara Unified School District board approved a bond-funded project priority list at Tuesday’s meeting including $4.1 million for Washington Elementary School projects. Click to view larger
The Santa Barbara Unified School District board approved a bond-funded project priority list at Tuesday’s meeting including $4.1 million for Washington Elementary School projects.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

The Santa Barbara Unified School District board OK'd the sale of Measure I and Measure J bonds at Tuesday's meeting and also approved a priority project list for the $193 million in funding. 

Board of Education members started the process to identify projects to fund with the voter-approved $135 million bond (Measure I) and a $58 million bond (Measure J) passed in November. 

Voters approved the two bonds to supplement funding to repair outdated facilities, replace portable classrooms with permanent buildings, outdated underground utilities, improve equipment and fix physical education facilities, fix playground surfaces, classroom lighting, roofs, windows, heating and air circulation systems. 

The initial project list unanimously approved by the board has a total cost of $187.9 million.

“The first thing I want to stress is that anything approved tonight is not set in stone,” Facilities and Operations Director David Hetyonk told the board Tuesday.

“The board has the discretion — at any time — to modify or change the plan for projects and priorities.”

Measure I, which applies to secondary schools, is estimated to cost the average homeowner $12 per $100,000 of assessed value and Measure J, which applies to elementary schools, is estimated to cost $13 per $100,000 of assessed value. 

At its Tuesday board meeting, the five elected leaders voted unanimously to approve its bond sale in three separate sales; in the amount of $50 million, $50 million and $35 million for Measure I and $20 million, $20 million and $18 million for Measure J.

The funding is not proposed to be split evenly among all campuses, and previous voter-approved capital improvement bond funding wasn't either.

“All the schools are not in the same condition,” Hetyonk said.

The board-approved project funding list for Measure I is split thusly: La Cuesta Continuation High School ($56.0 million), Dos Pueblos High School ($21.9 million), Santa Barbara High School ($20.7 million), Santa Barbara Junior High School ($16.8 million), San Marcos High School ($11.9 million), Goleta Valley Junior High School ($8.8 million), La Colina Junior High School  ($7.9 million) and La Cumbre Junior High School ($6.9 million).

The total project costs for secondary schools is an estimated $131.1 million.

Under that plan, project costs include $5 million in technology improvements, $3 million in science lab upgrades, $3.8 million in furniture and equipment, $2.7 million in district overheard and $20 million in purchasing and upgrading the National Guard's Santa Barbara Armory land at 700 E. Canon Perdido St. 

The board-approved project funding list for Measure J includes elementary schools: McKinley Elementary School ($7.9 million), Adams Elementary School ($7.3 million), Peabody Charter School ($5.7 million), Cleveland Elementary School ($5.6 million), Harding University Partnership School ($4.3 million), Washington Elementary School ($4.1 million), Monroe Elementary School ($3.3 million), Santa Barbara Charter School ($2.7 million), Roosevelt Elementary School ($2.6 million), Adelante Charter School ($2.1 million), Franklin Elementary School ($1.7 million), Santa Barbara Community Academy ($1.0 million) and Open Alternative School ($860,000).

The total project costs for the district’s 13 elementary schools is an estimated $56.8 million.

Additionally, $3 million will go towards technology, $2.2 million in furniture and $1.2 million in district overhead.

Some projects are anticipated to take about six years, Hetyonk said.

A new multipurpose room, roof replacement and repairs to the water, gas and sewer systmes are listed as future bond-funded projects for Washington Elementary School in Santa Barbara. Replacing portable buildings is a priority of the bond funding, the district said, but that isn’t proposed for Washington on the current project list. Click to view larger
A new multipurpose room, roof replacement and repairs to the water, gas and sewer systmes are listed as future bond-funded projects for Washington Elementary School in Santa Barbara. Replacing portable buildings is a priority of the bond funding, the district said, but that isn’t proposed for Washington on the current project list.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

The replacement of old portables with permanent buildings are at the forefront on the bond priority project list, Hetyonk said. 

The board authorized the use of modular construction for the replacement of the two portables at Las Flores Preschool, and it indicates this type of construction is feasible for portable replacement buildings the district expects to construct five modular classrooms for every four “traditional stick-build classrooms,” according to staff report.

In the first set of projects, the district included sites that are eligible for state matching funds for construction, Hetyonk said. 

The facilities needs and conditions assessment included site walks at each school site to verify the accuracy of the districts site plans and conditions. 

“We looked at a number of factors,” Hetyonk said. “We looked at aging infrastructure, which is becoming critical and in need or repair for safety of the buildings and safety of the students and staff.”

Board members, district and school-level administrators, teachers, classified staff, parents, students, foundation members, and representatives from the city of Santa Barbara, city of Goleta, Santa Barbara County Supervisors, colleges and the businesses community also reviewed the locations. 

Window replacement at Santa Barbara Junior High is listed on the Measure I project priority list at an estimated cost of $1.6 million. Click to view larger
Window replacement at Santa Barbara Junior High is listed on the Measure I project priority list at an estimated cost of $1.6 million.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

In 2015, LPA architects created the facility needs and condition assessment of the district’s Facilities Master Plan. The architecture business began crafting the master plan for each school after analyzing the information.

The Facilities Master Plan initially identified more district needs that were beyond current available capital funds, according to staff report.

TELACU, a construction management service, was also tasked with determining the most pressing needs. 

Board Member Laura Capps noted sustainability and energy efficiency with the new projects and buildings.

Capps also stressed the importance of communicating with the public about project updates. 

“We need to be mindful that a lot of people went to the polls and supported this,” Capps said.

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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