Special to the Free Lance

San Benito High School District Superintendent Shawn Tennenbaum provided a brief presentation March 7 to the Hollister City Council on early plans to open a second high school.

According to Tennenbaum, San Benito High School is at its capacity of 3,437 students, with 237 students expected over the next two years due to new housing developments.

Tennenbaum said he is reaching out to various governmental bodies in the county to find ways to work together.

“We are at capacity in terms of where we are in our student body and enrollment,” he said. “The district needs assistance to fund construction of the high school.”

The school is expected to cost $123 million. 

The city council and school officials discussed how to finance the project and make up for the estimated $73.2 million shortfall, such as through developer fees, general obligation bonds and state funding.

Officials pointed to the growth of the area, saying more space is needed for students. According to U.S. Census data, the population in Hollister grew by nearly 7,000 people from 2010 to 2020. Nearly 30% of the population is under 18.

Officials also discussed the idea of creating new housing for the residents in the area which would make it more accessible for the parents and students to get to the high school, but noted there were limited expansion areas in Hollister, as land outside the city is primarily used for agriculture.

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