San Benito High School has entered a new phase of summertime construction activity that includes the completion of some facilities projects and the start of others.
On June 11, three days after the Class of 2018 commencement ceremony, a number of summer projects got underway, including the new state-of-the-art science and robotics building, the new stadium project, aquatics complex, varsity softball field, ADA compliance changes and a special education classroom conversion on the main campus.
The 177,000-square-foot multi-use field on the southwest side of campus is nearly complete, according to district staff. In addition to providing a safe, playable surface year-round for physical education classes, it will be used by Baler soccer, baseball, softball, field hockey, lacrosse and football teams.
The district is following its board-approved facilities master plan for the ongoing renovation of the campus, which has already included the 2016 completion of a new physical education weight room and wrestling room and upgraded skylights in Mattson Gym. Those projects were paid for with general fund dollars.
“We once again would like to express our gratitude to local voters for their support of bond Measures G and U, which are funding the educational and athletic facility upgrades that are underway throughout campus,” said Superintendent Shawn Tennenbaum. “We also appreciate the willingness of local government leaders to partner with the district on projects that will improve student safety and enhance teaching and learning opportunities.”
Over the past two years, Measure G, which voters approved in 2014, has funded campus-wide heating and air-conditioning installations in classrooms; new tennis courts and a parking lot; a new Career Technical Education classroom and shop building; special education facility upgrades; and communication, technology and electrical infrastructure upgrades.
Measure U, approved by voters in 2016, provided funding for a state-of-the-art Visual and Performing Arts and Academics building.
The school and the City of Hollister Recreation Department this year reached an agreement to make the tennis courts available to the public during evenings and weekends through a reservation system.
Additional accessibility upgrades and expansion of special education classrooms will take place this summer, and a recent multi-agency agreement involving the City of Hollister, the County of San Benito and the Sunnyslope County Water District has paved the way for a new bypass road and water pipeline south of campus, traffic calming measures along B, Powell and Monterey streets, and the closure of Nash Road at West and Monterey streets from 7am to 7pm on school days.
“We are really excited about the direction of the district academically, and our partnerships with local government entities and support from our families and constituents around the county have made these campus improvements possible,” Tennenbaum said.
Measure U and state matching funds will finance the construction of a new science and robotics building that is expected to be completed in 2019, according to staff. It will feature 12 upgraded science classrooms and laboratories and a robotics classroom.
The district’s ongoing energy-efficiency measures will continue this summer with the installation of solar panels in the Baler Alley parking lot on the north side of campus. Throughout the recent campus improvements, 52 percent of the workforce utilized on the various projects has been from the local, tri-county area, defined as San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, according to the district.
“The support from both the City of Hollister and San Benito County has led to collaborative and positive partnerships that are supporting our current students and generations more to come,” Tennenbaum said. “We are extremely grateful for the support from the community and will continue to strive to make San Benito High School the crown jewel of the tri-county area.”