Thursday, January 18 , 2018, 10:14 am | Fair 62º


Santa Maria-Bonita District Board OKs Purchase of New School Site

District will pay nearly $5.9 million for 10.55 acres to build elementary campus on Enos Ranch development land

The design for the planned Measure T elementary school in the Santa Maria-Bonita School District that will be built on land in the Enos Ranch development. includes a two-story building.
The design for the planned Measure T elementary school in the Santa Maria-Bonita School District that will be built on land in the Enos Ranch development. includes a two-story building. (Contributed photo)

The Santa Maria-Bonita School District is about own land for the home of its 21st campus.

On Wednesday night, the school board voted to authorize purchasing land near the corner of South College Drive and Meehan Street for the Measure T school.

The district board agreed to pay NKT Commercial $5,898,323 for the 10.55 acres near the northwest corner of the Enos Ranch development. 

Funding will come from Measure T money, a 2014 initiative to upgrade the district's older campuses and build a new school.

Payment will occur once escrow closes, no later than Dec. 27.

“It’s been a long road to get to this point,” Superintendent Luke Ontiveros said. 

District representatives have consulted with state education officials about the proposed site prior to the purchase.

Officials did not see any complications related to the school site, said Matthew Beecher, assistant superintendent for business services. 

Preliminary environmental review did not reveal any potential problems to preclude a school from being built there, he added.

Beecher said construction crews could start moving dirt in December 2018 or January 2019. 

A request for bids, with site specs, should be ready by summer 2018, according to Beecher. 

Preliminary design plans for a new Santa-Maria Bonita School District campus. Click to view larger
Preliminary design plans for a new Santa-Maria Bonita School District campus.  (Contributed photo)

The plan calls for the school to be completed in June 2020 with the first students on campus in August 2020, in time for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

“It sounds so far away but as soon as I start writing out all the steps between now and then, I’m like, we don’t have enough time,” Beecher said. 

The district board already has weighed in on some designs, including approving a two-story classroom building concept for the site.

The consultants said Wednesday night they expect to return in January for the board to formally approve the design, adding they are working fast to meet the district’s deadlines.

The K-6 campus would initially house 750 students, but could grow to accommodate up to 1,000 children.

Santa Maria-Bonita’s current enrollment for transitional kindergartners through eighth-graders exceeds 17,120 students, with projections it could climb to 17,787 in five years.

Enos Ranch sits on more than 100 ares north of Betteravia Road and between to Highway 101 and College Drive. The development project includes a combination of retail businesses, office building, auto dealers, park, school and multi-family residences. 

The commercial development has already seen the opening of Costco and Lowe’s Home Improvement Store. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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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