Despite two delays and no turf having been laid on the field, the Peabody Stadium construction project is 93 percent complete, according to a report that will be presented to the Santa Barbara Unified School Board on Tuesday.
Photography taken by the News-Press on Aug. 22 showcases the football field and surrounding track with only mounds of dirt, calling into question whether the project is truly seven percent away from completion.
The stadium, initially slated to open in April only to be delayed until August due to weather issues over the winter, is estimated to be completed in November. The perimeter curb around the field is in the process of being completed and the turf and synthetic track is expected to be installed “soon,” according to a report on Measure I and Measure J summer projects that will be presented to the board.
The construction delay has resulted in the relocation of the previous two Santa Barbara High School graduation ceremonies and the Dons football team to play at other nearby venues for the past two seasons.
The district issued an update on the project last month, which stated the delay was attributed to a “series of complications associated with lost time during the heavy rainy season earlier this year,” as well as an issue over the laying of the foundation supporting the turf field. Another holdup is associated with a state inspection needed on the ADA accessible elevator, according to Steve Vizzolini, the director of facilities and modernization for the district.
Despite the delay, constriction of the new 2,300-seat stadium and press box was still fiscally on target. The district has committed $39 million toward the renovation, with construction costs of about $28 million.
The project also includes a new CIF regulation track and replacing the sound and lighting system.
The summer projects report also includes information on the replacement of the multipurpose and locker room buildings at Santa Barbara Junior High, which is now underway.
It also includes an update on the new Las Flores Preschool, which is complete and ready for occupancy. The new building includes solar panels and air conditioning, new off-street parking, new furniture and landscaping.
Other projects that have been completed this summer include: the multipurpose room renovations at Cleveland and Washington schools; the pavement project at Dos Pueblos High School; upgrades to the playground at Adams Elementary; a new sawdust collection system in the woodshop at DP; and a roofing replacement over the woodshop at San Marcos, according to the report.
The backstops at San Marcos and Dos Pueblos are currently under construction, as well as the replacement of the boiler and heating systems at Santa Barbara High and Santa Barbara Junior High. In addition, the intercom and PA system is being replaced at Dos Pueblos and Goleta Valley Junior High, as is the HVAC system at the district office.
A total of 70 projects have been approved using Measure I and Measure J funds, including 28 that have been completed. Another six projects are expected to be complete by January, according to the report.
This spring and summer, construction will begin at the Dos Pueblos CTE Pavilion, the main building at McKinley Elementary School, and restroom renovations at San Marcos and Santa Barbara High. Permanent classroom buildings will also be constructed to replace portables at Monroe, Cleveland, Adams and Harding – as well as roofing repairs at several schools.
In other business Tuesday, the district will receive an evaluation of secondary school-based mental health.
With an agreement between Family Service Agency and the district, FSA contracted with Dr. Erika Felix, of the UCSB Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, to conduct the first external evaluation of the school-based mental health services provided by the district and its subcontractor, the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.
The evaluation “focused exclusively on the ongoing therapeutic and behavioral wellness counseling services provided on campus,” according to a staff report.
The evaluation shows several improvements in students’ emotional and behavioral health as a result of the services provided, and a “reduction in frequency of suicidal thoughts following treatment services,” the evaluation states.
Students who received CADA services showed a reduction in the risk factors associated with substance abuse, a decrease in relapse potential and an increased readiness to change. The evaluation is not yet complete, but is viewed as a useful tool or tracking progress next year.
Some evaluation recommendations include: improvement on how to track referrals; considering additional ways to motivate students and families to initiate services; additional support for students who struggle with their mental health; and evaluation services on a regular basis to determine student success.
Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, at 720 Santa Barbara St.