Re-roofing projects and pavement projects at Goleta Union School District schools are wrapping up ahead of the new school year, funded by Measure M, the $80 million bond approved by voters in 2020 to bring improvements to the schools and technology accessibility.
Since the bond was approved, the district and its Board of Education have been developing plans and setting priorities for the upgrades.
Projects that the district has settled on as its priorities include re-roofing and HVAC, new playgrounds and play surfaces, paving improvements, new equipment in each school’s STEAM labs, new classroom furniture and classroom modernization.
The bond measure also originally included solar panels and other renewable energy programs as projects to be funded, but Conrad Tedeschi, the Goleta Union School District’s assistant superintendent of fiscal services, said that solar tax credits, rebates and other incentive programs allow the district to fund those in other ways and instead spend that money on other school improvements.
This summer, the district is finishing up with re-roofing and installing new HVAC systems at Ellwood Elementary School and La Patera Elementary School, and new pavement projects are wrapping up at El Camino Elementary School and Mountain View Elementary School.
The new roofs include 3 inches of insulation, and the new HVAC systems are designed to bring in clean, filtered air with better air quality in the classrooms.
“These schools were built many years ago, so the great thing is engineers can really make sure everything is up to code,” Tedeschi said. “So far, this first big summer project has been going well.”
Tedeschi told Noozhawk that the goal is to complete roofing and pavement projects on at least two schools every summer, and the projects installing new playground equipment can occur during the school year.
Each school in the district will have all of their playground equipment replaced on both the kindergarten yards for younger kids and on the main yard for older students.
Tedeschi added that accessibility and movement will be big focuses for the new playgrounds, as well as making them age appropriate.
“The kids will see the work getting done and will be getting excited,” Tedeschi said. “It may be distracting for teachers, but it will be worth it.”
According to the school district’s Measure M dashboard — which is available for the public to view detailed information on the projects and how the bond money is being spent — construction of playground projects are set to take place this fall at Brandon Elementary School, Hollister Elementary School and Mountain View Elementary School, with projects to follow at other schools in the winter or spring.
The Measure M dashboard also includes information specific to each school and photos of ongoing or completed projects.
Tedeschi said the district has started purchasing a lot of new equipment for the schools’ science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics labs, and committees of educators will be formed to provide input on new classroom furniture and the classroom modernization projects that are set to follow the larger projects.
One of the district’s main goals for these projects, Tedeschi said, has always been to ensure equity across each of the district’s nine schools, meaning the projects will take place at each school to improve infrastructure accordingly. The district office also will be getting new roofs and pavement, scheduled on the dashboard for 2026 and 2027.
“Our priority is the schools, the students and parents, and the community,” Tedeschi said. “We are so appreciative [of the taxpayers who approved the bond]. … I’m proud of this district and how this board makes decisions.”
More information on Measure M and the projects the bond money is funding is available on the Goleta Union School District’s Measure M dashboard here.