The school district is considering a $ 1.2 million window replacement project in Santa Barbara High | School zone

The Santa Barbara Unified School District plans to replace 102 windows on the Santa Barbara High School campus. This would cost the district about $ 1.26 million.

The project would be financed from Measure I bond funds.

The school board was due to vote on the project on February 9, but it was removed from the agenda for the Santa Barbara Historic Landmarks Commission to review.

Santa Barbara High is a city landmark, as are McKinley Elementary and La Cumbre and Santa Barbara Junior High Schools.

The windows in the main buildings of the listed schools, which were built in the 1920s and 1930s, are original, said Steve Vizzolini, director of facilities and modernization for the district.

“Many of the windows are in a severe state of disrepair, with some bolted shut from dry rot and other damage,” he told Noozhawk.

“We consulted an architect who has experience working with historic buildings and a private contractor who specializes in historic restoration, and they both agree that the replacement is much cheaper than the restoration.”

Vizzolini said window replacements will also be needed in La Cumbre and Santa Barbara junior highs, but there is only enough funding for Santa Barbara High right now.

“The project has already been delayed due to the process of assessing and prioritizing window replacement at all three schools,” he said.

The upgrade has several advantages.

“Operable windows in the areas included in the project improve the ventilation of the rooms in warm weather and improve energy efficiency in cold weather,” said Vizzolini. “There will also be a significant improvement in the aesthetics of both the interior and exterior of both buildings.”

In 2013, a district advisor developed a “wish list” of maintenance projects to fund Q&R bonds, including replacing windows on several senior schools.

At the time, replacing historic windows in Santa Barbara High was estimated to cost an estimated $ 11 million. Most of the cost was not related to the windows themselves, but to the historic wooden frames.

Since the high school is a city landmark, custom wooden frames that match the original color would be required, the facility director at the time said.

Director Elise Simmons supports the project.

“There are several benefits to the Santa Barbara High School community,” she said. “The new windows are fully operable and allow teachers and students to open them during class. This will improve ventilation. “

The new windows, Simmons added, will also help keep the classrooms warmer in the winter and block out sound.

“And the new windows will improve the beauty of our facade and classrooms as most of the paint is completely faded and peeling and some of the wood is damaged,” she said.

Lanny Ebenstein, a lecturer at UC Santa Barbara and a former school board member, has been in favor of a window restoration project rather than a replacement.

The estimated replacement cost is about $ 12,400 per window, or as he put it, $ 1,400 per pane of glass.

“Our schools don’t have enough money for so many things, and to say the top priority is spending $ 1.2 million on windows at Santa Barbara High School, I don’t think it is,” said he.

The project will be on the agenda of the Historic Landmarks Commission on April 28th.

– Noozhawk employee Joshua Molina can be reached at (JavaScript must be activated in order to display this e-mail address.). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews, and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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