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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on May 15th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 10 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 10

Santa Maria-Bonita sets a date for new school construction

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

The name of Santa Maria-Bonita School District’s newest facility won’t be known for a while, but the district does know that the first shovel will hit the dirt on June 5.

On April 24, the Board of Education awarded the construction contract to AMG & Associates Inc. from Santa Clarita, which entered a bid of $16.89 million for the 28-classroom elementary school. The school will be built on a 10-acre parcel known as the Aquistapace property.

The new school will have a 650- to 700-student capacity and is supposed to help relieve some of the overcrowding experienced by the 15,000-student district, which is continuing to grow at a rate of 300 to 400 students per year. The project also has space allotted to build an extra classroom unit, which will give the new school the room to house another 125 students.

“We are one of the few districts on the Central Coast that consistently has a large enrollment increase every year,” superintendent Phil Alvarado said in a press release. “While this new school will make a big difference and we are excited to begin construction, we can’t stop planning for more schools in the near future.”

Part of that planning process was securing $9.5 million in state funding by beginning construction on the new school this year. When the school eventually receives the money from the state, district spokesperson Maggie White told the Sun, it can be used to pay back loans for the new school or put toward a different construction project.

“We submitted the paperwork to the state in such a way that if we needed to put another classroom wing on say a junior high, we could,” White said. “It’s good to have options.”

The school is slated to be finished before the start of the 2015-2016 school year, and will eventually go through a formal naming process outlined in the district’s bylaws. It will be located near Liberty School on the corner of Carmen Lane and Western Avenue.

The district is paying for the project through a certificate of participation loan, and the payments will be made from increased enrollment revenue or, if necessary, from the general fund. The payment will be about $1.8 million a year, or 1.7 percent of the district’s general fund.