Schools & Education

UPDATED – San Benito High School Moves Forward with Facilities Plan

$39 Million Plan Focuses on Academics, Safety and Sustainabllity

BenitoLink Exclusive: San Benito High School Board Member Ray Rodriguez talks with BenitoLink on the state of SBHS's bond measure.

BL: Has the Board agreed to move forward with a bond election? If so, when will that be?

RR: Yes, the Board voted 5-0 to place a Bond Resolution on the June Ballot. That has been done and identified as Measure "G".

BL: What is your timeline for raising funds? Construction?

RR: The community campaign committee is forming. Chair is Roger Curtis and we are hoping to begin to actively campaign by March 31st.  Now that the District has placed the measure on the ballot the community has to run the campaign process. 

Construction — The District is pressing forward with the preparation work required so that, upon successful passage of the bond, we can immediately move forward the with Vocational / Career & Technical Education Center to get phase I off the ground. Bonds will be issued in several series as once the bond is issued the District has 36 months to spend the money. Logistically we could not complete and efficiently spend all $42M in one 36 month period. 

The Vocational / Career & Technical Education Center is a priority, as the current Vocational Ed. building has recently been declared seismically unsound by the sate. We received bids to do the required upgrades and it came up to over $2.5M and for maybe twice that we are looking for a NEW, MODERN and technologically up to date facility. This can also be constructed in an area where we would not displace any students or educational activities while the construction goes on.

(Tthe rest of the project list is available to the public by request.)  Please note that we are NOT spending on athletics as publicized in the local press except when classroom construction would cause a Physical Education facility to be displaced which may not happen at all and it will definitely not be the enormous amount that was quoted.

BL: Are you happy with the amount of community input? If not, how can we encourage more?

RR: More input is always appreciated. Right now we need to gather community members who wish to help with the campaign. raise funds, stuff envelopes, phone calls, signs in yards, get out the vote campaign, social media, etc… 

BL: Do you feel there is support among the SBHS community and staff?

RR: I do hope that the staff sees the direct benefit to the learning environment for the students and the teaching/working environment for themselves. 

If you could direct those wishing to volunteer or those with questions to one of the following people it would be great…

Ray Rodriguez 
email  — [email protected]
Phone 831-801-6295

Krystal Lomanto
email — [email protected]
Phone — 831-902-0966

Roger Curtis
email — [email protected]
phone — 801-803-2810

The San Benito High School Board of Trustees is beginning to investigate possible facility and modernization projects which could be included in a general obligation bond submitted for voter approval. To see the full report, click here

During the past several years, San Benito High School, due to its fiscally conservative management, has been able to use existing funds to build classrooms, facilities, and upgrade technology. The school has now reached a point where facility and modernization projects can only be financed by a general obligation bond.

In November 2012, the Board approved a Facilities Master Plan which provides for an incremental and strategic framework for meeting the educational needs of San Benito High School students. Several months ago, the District authorized a community survey to ascertain community support for facility and modernization projects which would lead to the successful passage of a general obligation bond. The result of that poll indicated the community would support improvements focused on the following:

1.    Academic and Career Prep Programs
2.    Campus Safety (improved earthquake readiness, etc.)
3.    Facility improvements that modernize and improve outdated classrooms
4.    Water and energy efficiency to enable investment of those cost savings into instruction technologies 

The board of trustees would like to receive input from the San Benito County community. This input will help guide the Board as it identifies priorities for facility and modernization projects submitted for voter approval. If you would like to provide input, please contact Mr. John A. Perales, M.Ed., Superintendent, at [email protected]

1.    New classroom buildings
2.    New Joint-Use Performing Arts Center
3.    New Multi-Purpose Facilities with Student Commons, Food Court, and Covered Outdoor Eating Area
4.    New Vocational Facilities
5.    New Wrestling & Weight Facilities (Costs Not Included in Master Plan)
6.    New Aquatic Center with Restrooms
7.    New Baseball & Soccer Complex
8.    New Stadium with Synthetic Turf
9.    New Softball Complex
10.    New Campus Parking with Overhead Photovoltaic Panels
11.    New Outdoor Sustainable Learning Habitat with Storm Water Biofiltration
12.    New Maintenance & Bus Facilities

Envisioned Solutions
•    New integrated photovoltaic panels at all south and southwesterly facing roofs to supplement electrical demands.
•    New Solatube skylights at all classroom and administration spaces to lessen electrical lighting demands.
•    New cisterns attached to rain leaders has the potential to capture rainwater for irrigation and lessen city water demands.
•    Native vegetation (Xeriscape) lessens water demands for landscape irrigation.
•    New deciduous trees and shading devices at southerly and westerly building facades to reduce building heat gain during warmer seasons and allow natural heating during cooler seasons.
•    Wind turbines connected to media centers allow for renewable energy and integrated sustainable curriculums.

Julie Finigan Morris

Julie Finigan Morris is a journalist and business owner. She has worked as staff writer for several news organizations, including Thomson Newspapers in Washington D.C., McClatchy Newspapers and Scripps News Service. She is also the Co-Founder and Owner of Morris Grassfed and has lived in San Benito County for more than 25 years. Morris has also worked in corporate communications, marketing, and the non-profit sector. She is a founding board member of BenitoLink and currently serves on its Editorial Committee. She recently published her first novel, Exit Strategy. Visit her online at