Thursday, April 26 , 2018, 10:57 pm | Fair 55º

 
 
 
 

Santa Maria-Bonita Takes a Step Toward New School Site

Preliminary environmental assessment finds no concerns at College Drive site

A proposed home for a new elementary school campus in Santa Maria has received a preliminary approval. The campus would be par of the Enos Ranchos development under construction on more than 100 acres between Betteravia Road, College Drive and Highway 101.
A proposed home for a new elementary school campus in Santa Maria has received a preliminary approval. The campus would be par of the Enos Ranchos development under construction on more than 100 acres between Betteravia Road, College Drive and Highway 101. (Contributed)

A proposed home for a new elementary school campus in Santa Maria has received a preliminary approval, one of many steps needed before students can begin learning there.

The Santa Maria-Bonita School District board of education this week approved the preliminary environmental assessment for the new school, proposed for land near College Drive, south of Battles Road.

The site is part of the massive Enos Ranchos development under construction on more than 100 acres between Betteravia Road, College Drive and Highway 101. The project includes a new Costco home, other retailers, auto dealerships, residential development, a school site and a park.

The preliminary environmental assessment was a first step required before the district even begins talks to acquire the land, district spokeswoman Maggie White said.

The board’s approval came after a public hearing, where no one spoke, on the preliminary environmental assessment, White added.

The district’s consultant, Tetra Tech, researched the site’s past uses — oil fields and agriculture — before testing the soil.

The site sits in the former Santa Maria Oil Field, with the Enos Ranch land surrounding the proposed school site used for oil production from the 1930s to the 1990s.

The broader Enos Ranch land and the school site itself were used for row crop production from the 1930s through 2015, the research revealed.

But testing turned up nothing that exceeds state threshold levels or requires further testing, White said.

“The human health and ecological screening evaluations indicate that the compounds present at the site do not represent a meaningful risk to potential human or ecological receptors,” the Tetra Tech presentation said. 

A second assessment analyzed potential danger from four pipelines within 1,500 feet of the site. 

“The pipeline risk analysis results indicate that no meaningful level of risk would be posed to persons at the proposed Measure T School site,” the presentation said. 

“Risks associated with school facility development in proximity to the pipelines, as proposed, are not meaningful,” the Tetra Tech presentation added.

The school board is expected to consider approving the final environmental assessment at an upcoming board meeting.

The new school, the 21st in the district that has more than 16,000 students, will be funded through Measure T, a $45 million bond approved by voters in 2014. In addition to the new school the bond money will be used for assorted projects at the district’s aging campuses.

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.

  • 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 >

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.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

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 >