Work Continues on Santa Maria Elementary School

By SCN Staff

SANTA MARIA, Calif.—Earlier this year, the Santa Maria-Bonita School District broke ground on a new elementary school located in the southeast section of Santa Maria.

With a completion date slated for August 2020, construction continues on the new elementary school that is yet to be named. Located on a nearly 11-acre parcel, the school will sit on part of the Enos Ranch property and be able to house up to 900 kindergarten through 6th grade students.

“Santa Maria-Bonita has the 11 largest elementary schools and 14 of the 15 largest elementary schools in Santa Barbara County,” said SMBSD Superintendent Luke Ontiveros.

“The construction of this new school is incredibly necessary, greatly appreciated and cause for celebration.” This will be the district’s 17th elementary school, 21st school overall, and will help us keep pace with growth in the community.”

The land purchase, architectural designs, fees and construction have a combined cost of more than $48 million. Desks, computers, books and other necessary items will cost another $2.5 million. Approximately $30 million of the total cost will be paid for by the money from Measure T, SMBSD’s school construction bond measure that local voters approved by 61.37 percent in November 2014.

The district will fund the remainder of the cost through local developer fees, already received state matching funds, and additional matching funds from the state’s recently passed school construction bonds for which the district has applied.

SMBSD Board President Veda Flores, who was actively involved in the effort to pass Measure T, said, “We made a lot of phone calls and spoke to thousands of people in the community about the importance of quality schools. The feedback and support we heard was overwhelming. Santa Maria residents want good schools for their children and their neighborhoods. We are grateful to everyone who voted yes on Measure T, and who made this upcoming groundbreaking possible.”

The SMBSD Board of Education awarded the new school construction project to AMG & Associates from Santa Clarita, which has built a number of schools and city government projects in the state.

“AMG & Associates is very excited to work with the Santa Maria-Bonita School District again,” said AMG President Albert M. Giacomazzi. “Our first project with the district was Jiménez Elementary School and it was extremely successful. We are confident that the Measure T-funded school will have the same results.”

The campus was designed by the DLR Group architecture firm, which has an office in Los Angeles.

“DLR Group’s design for Santa Maria-Bonita’s new elementary school creates dynamic educational spaces that accommodate multiple modes of learning on a safe and secure campus,” said DLR Group Senior Principal Brett Hobza, AIA.

“Multi-story academic buildings and community shared-use performance functions define the edges of the site. The campus plan creates a welcoming interior courtyard that provides outdoor collaboration areas and learning opportunities for students.”

The school’s main buildings are situated in a way that will protect the courtyard learning spaces from much of Santa Maria’s seasonal wind. The indoor spaces have also been designed with convenience in mind.

“Flexible environments within the school feature moveable glass walls and adaptable furniture, allowing students and staff to customize spaces to meet changing educational needs,” added Hobza.