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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Trustees discuss potential affordable student housing

Remodeling of Cliff Drive expected to start construction in 2027
Claire Geriak
The Board of Trustees congregate in the McDougall Administration Building monthly in Santa Barbara, Calif. Illustration created on Canva on Nov. 12.

A prospective project for affordable student housing for City College was presented to the Board of Trustees by Brailsford & Dunlavey Inc. on Thursday, March 21.    

Brailsford & Dunlavey is a corporation that partners with clients ranging from colleges and universities to professional sports organizations in order to provide analytical and technical services for construction projects. 

In the fiscal year 2022 to 2023, City College received a grant from the state titled SB 169 that was contributed towards research with Brailsford & Dunlavey on the feasibility of affordable student housing, according to Brian Fahnestock, assistant superintendent-president.  

The corporation conducted a campus wide survey for City College in September through October 2023 regarding student housing situations and interests.  

The final student housing marketing analysis report was presented by Matt Bohannon, vice president of Brailsford & Dunlavey, to the board of elected officials on Thursday night for further discussion. 

According to Bohannon, over the course of four months he and his team conducted research involving qualitative data from the student focus groups at City College, quantitative data of the existing housing market in Santa Barbara, financial analysis of housing costs and pricing, as well as final project considerations.

Following the presentation, the board followed up with questions and discussion revolving around Bohannon’s analysis of potential affordable student housing for City College students.

Trustee Marsha Croninger addressed the benefits incoming international students at City College would receive from the possible housing system.

“I feel that it’s a way for the community to move away from the idea that international students are taking away housing from the whole district,” Croninger said. “And at the same time [City College is] offering an international student a far greater integration into the community.”

Trustee President Jonathan Abboud suggested that any board member interested in forming a future ad hoc committee for further investigation towards affordable student housing should contact him.

A report from the Public Works Department of Santa Barbara introduced plans for improvements to Cliff Drive. The project will range from Rancheria Street to Meigs Road.

The department received a grant from the state’s Active Transportation Program, as well as money from the city, for a total of $33 million.

These grants were given to the department in December 2022 in order to fund the implementation of a 3.1 mile-long multi-use path along Cliff Drive, as well as the inclusion of three new traffic signals and 11 new crosswalks to the street.

“The goal is really to transform the street from a highway design to a more connected neighborhood design,” said Michelle Bedard, project planner for the Public Works Department of Santa Barbara.

According to Bedard’s presentation, the entrance to City College’s west and east campuses will include two of the three new traffic signals in the department’s project in order to control turns across Cliff Drive for safety.  

The remaining decisions for the department’s project design are subject to further coordination with the City College district, as well as neighboring schools, parks, residents and businesses adjacent to Cliff Drive. The project is scheduled to begin construction in 2027. 

The board will reconvene for another public meeting on Thursday, April 25.

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