Blach Construction crews stand by as concrete is poured earlier this month for the new Hollister High School Student Union project.. Contributed photo.

Numerous projects are underway at Hollister High School that will improve energy efficiency, recreation programs and student life on campus, according to San Benito High School District Superintendent Dr. Shawn Tennenbaum’s latest newsletter. 

The rooftop solar panels on top of the Career Technical Education building and the ground-mount solar farm on the southwest side of campus are connected and operating. SBHSD staff reported an update on the solar project to the district Board of Trustees at its Dec. 12 meeting, Tennenbaum’s Dec. 26 newsletter said. 

PG&E performed an infrastructure upgrade, allowing for the full generation of power from the panels, Tennenbaum added. 

Since the implementation of campus energy efficiency projects in July 2017, the district has saved more than $2.1 million as of October 2023. That decrease in energy consumption translates to removing 355 cars off the road, preserving 46,284 trees from deforestation and powering 201 American homes, says the newsletter.

The bleachers and press box at the Ray Barragan Softball Stadium, funded by a donation from the Barragan Family, were assembled and installed in December. The stadium project will double the seating capacity of the complex by adding bleachers, as well as a press box, sound system and lighting controls, says Tennenbaum’s newsletter. 

The $428,000 project is the latest in more than $1.2 million of campus projects “funded through the generosity of the Barragan family, including covering the full cost of adding lights to the softball stadium,” says the newsletter. 

Blach Construction continues site work on what will become an 8,500-square-foot Hollister High Student Union Building on Nash Road near West Street. It will include a cafeteria, kitchen, indoor and outdoor assembly spaces, room for students to hang out or study, and provide room for staff and community gatherings, Tennenbaum said. 

About 400 yards of concrete for footings and grade beams was recently poured and the site was winterized ahead of the recent rain. Steel was scheduled to arrive by the end of this month. 

The $14.3 million building is being funded in part by about $8 million in state matching funds that SBHSD applied for through California’s facility program funded by a state bond, says Tennenbaum’s newsletter. The district will also receive $5 million from the state through a line item in the 2023-24 budget, with the remainder of the cost covered by restricted district funds.

“The student union, which has a planned completion date of October 2024, will be located in the center of campus to create a safe and vibrant facility that is larger and more easily accessible than the current cafeteria, located on the north side of Hollister High School,” Tennenbaum said in the Dec. 26 newsletter. “A larger kitchen and dining facility will meet the needs of our continually growing campus population, which currently hovers around 3,500 and is expected to increase to approximately 3,900 students in the next four years.”

The student union is the final project in Hollister High School’s Facilities Master Plan, which is funded by a combination of voter-approved general obligation bonds, state matching funds, district funds and the state budget allocations.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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