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Photos: San Benito High receives infrastructure upgrades

School transforms old science labs into new classrooms

A dual swing automatic gate is being installed on Nash Road near San Benito High School on July 23 as part of several repair and renovation projects throughout the campus. Photo: Juan Reyes

San Benito High School has gone through a major overhaul for the past five years and the projects don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.   

The San Benito High School District board of trustees received a construction update June 22 on the Facilities Master Plan that showed some of the newest state-of-the art facilities including a Career Technical Education building, the Science-Engineering-Robotics building and the Visual and Performing Arts & Academics facility.

Construction manager Rob Zimmerman and Kristy Bettencourt, manager of maintenance operations and transportation supervisor, gave this publication a sneak peek of other existing infrastructures that received upgrades for the upcoming school year.

One major change was that the old science lab rooms, including Room 183, were transformed into classrooms that received new carpeting, paint job and new desks. Baler Plaza, a new outdoor area with picnic tables, was also built and maintenance crews are planting trees as part of the Adopt-a-Tree program.  

Zimmerman said all classrooms are now climate-controlled and run on new solar technology, which should save millions of dollars in energy costs in the long term.

A community food pantry with canned goods, pasta, frozen foods and other healthy options will be open to both students and staff. The campus is now wired with a Verkada security system and a security system was set up for the aquatics center.

The students are set to return to in-person instruction beginning Aug. 12 but there are still ongoing projects including a new audio-visual system that features two large monitors, speakers, wireless microphones and a touchscreen controller optimized for board meetings in the library.

Hollister-based Benchmark Steel is also nearly complete with repairs of the dual swing automatic gate doors on Nash Road. The crew finalized repairs to the gates that allow for the safe passage of students from the main campus to south campus. 

A set of four new light poles are being installed for the softball stadium that are funded by a $396,000 donation from the Barragan family in Hollister.

The old Career Technical Center building will be removed and the Maintenance, Operations and Transportation building will be replaced.