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Monday, March 18 , 2019, 9:56 am | Fair 59º


Santa Barbara School District to Give $4 million More to Peabody Stadium

Rising renovation costs cause school board to further fund $16 million project

Santa Barbara schools officials on Tuesday pledged more than $4 million more toward Santa Barbara High School’s Peabody Stadium renovation project.
Santa Barbara schools officials on Tuesday pledged more than $4 million more toward Santa Barbara High School’s Peabody Stadium renovation project. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara schools officials on Tuesday pledged to fork over $4 million more toward Santa Barbara High School’s Peabody Stadium renovation as construction estimates exceed its original $12 million budget.

Infrastructure and storm drainage issues on the site — unrelated to the public storm drains running under the property — caused the unforeseen increase, which will come out of the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s Measure Q funds.

The district, which was already footing most of the $12.7 million bill, plans to upgrade the 90-year-old facility by replacing a cracked asphalt running track with synthetic surface and the grass field with synthetic turf.

Improvements would also bring stadium grandstands up to building code.

The Board of Education unanimously voted to keep the now-$16.7 million project moving forward, with an included construction contingency of nearly $1.3 million and soft costs projected at $2.5 million.

There was little discussion Tuesday because board members peppered facilities managers with questions at a meeting earlier this month.

After the board authorized the project in July 2014, crews got to work and have since identified a number of cost reductions, including using steel beams instead of concrete for structural support, constructing a shell building under the grandstand with no interior build out except bathrooms, and omitting rooftop access to the press box to reduce tower heights and another elevator stop.

Crews also proposed delaying some plant landscaping and replacement of walkways and stonework around the stadium.

Measure Q, a $75 million general obligation bond approved by voters in 2010, is funding the bulk of the Peabody Stadium upgrades.

The $4 million allotment leaves just under $3 million in the Measure Q coffers.

Another $2.8 million is coming from state Seismic Mitigation Hardship funds and $5 million via fundraising.

The Foundation for Santa Barbara High School has raised $3.57 million in gifts and pledges so far, foundation development director Katie Jacobs told Noozhawk.

She said the foundation hits its two-year deadline to get the full $5 million pledged by summer 2016, with larger donors able to pay off their pledges until 2018.

“We’re definitely getting there,” Jacobs said. “We are also honored to have so much support from the general community for the project. A renovated track and field on the eastside will be a terrific place for neighbors to come and exercise. Our basketball courts are a popular place on weekends with the community and SBHS welcomes the time when everyone can come and use the renovated track and field.”

She said many alumni have been donating $1,000 to put names on individual grandstand seats.

For more information on foundation efforts or to donate, click here

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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