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Santa Barbara High School VADA receives approval to move ahead with new building

vada rendering.png
Posted at 6:03 PM, Nov 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-16 21:03:46-05

The construction of a new state-of-the-art building for Santa Barbara High School’s Visual Arts & Design Academy, VADA, was approved by the Santa Barbara Unified School Board.

The goal of the new building is to help students prepare for their future through a modern, flexible approach to classroom organization.

The building also aims to support improved visual arts, design, and creative studies curricula.

The 3,350-square-foot building includes a digital design lab, indoor and outdoor studio workspace, shop areas for new technology, photography and integrated exhibition space.

“It’s been years of dreaming and working on a new space designed especially to cultivate our student’s creativity and prepare them for their future,” said Daniel Barrett, VADA program director. “The dream is now a reality, and it is exhilarating to see it coming together. We are so grateful for the support we’ve received thus far from our donors.”

Through a partnership with the Santa Barbara Unified School District, a matching grant from the California Department of Education was acquired to augment Measure I 2016 bond funds allocated to the project.

With initial private donations, Friends of VADA, the nonprofit group behind the fundraising effort, secured the additional funds necessary for building.

FOV will continue to fundraise and further support the vision of VADA’s student program, including significant campus developments and renovations of existing facilities.

“This new building is a great example of how state, school district, and private funding can come together to achieve a successful outcome for our students, faculty, and the larger community,” said Santa Barbara High School principal Dr. Elise Simmons.

The contract for the construction of the new building was awarded to McGillivray Construction.

McGillivary will begin construction on the new facility on Dec. 1, 2022.

The project is expected to be completed in January 2024.