The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

SBCC to replace Sports Pavilion with new, eco-friendly alternative

Preliminary diagram of the new Physical Education Building Project. Courtesy of LPA Inc.

City College has begun to lay the groundwork for replacing the outdated Sports Pavilion and Life Fitness Center with a $40 million athletic complex. 

Many issues with the current facility led the state to approve the demolition, with concerns regarding the building’s ability to withstand an earthquake being one of the larger issues. 

Though construction isn’t set to begin until August of 2021, the college has been working with architects at the firm LPA for months.  

“We want this to be a hub of campus,” said Athletic Director Rocco Constantino.

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The deterioration of the building’s waterproofing also led the college to ensure that the new complex would be better equipped to handle rain and rising sea levels. 

The new complex will be mostly funded by a state-wide program dedicated to demolishing and rebuilding old facilities, with the district paying for the remaining $8 million.

However, the state program stipulates that the college cannot expand the square footage of the building. 

To accommodate this, the school first plans to knock down the structure closest to La Playa Stadium, which currently houses the athletic department offices and classrooms. 

Once the offices are demolished, the new three to four-story complex will be built where they once were.

After the first phase of construction is complete, the gym will be demolished and replaced with an amphitheater and new open space. 

Over the course of the 13-month design phase, LPA and City College faculty will be working to create a building that is as environmentally friendly as possible. 

The administration has made creating an environmentally-friendly and sustainable building a top priority.  “We’re really making an effort to make this building as green as possible,” Constantino said. 

In one of the proposed designs, the Life Fitness Center would face the ocean, with walls made mostly of windows. With this design, the center would be able to conserve energy by utilizing natural light.

“We can think about those things from the start,” said Luz Reyes-Martin, executive director of public affairs and communication for the college.

The new complex will be home to students, athletes, faculty, staff and community members, and the college has made an effort to listen to their thoughts. 

“We have been doing a great deal of communication with our campus groups,” Reyes-Martin said. 

This includes last semester’s display in the lobby of the Sports Pavilion, where LPA set up storyboards of various designs for students to put a red dot on ideas they didn’t like, and a green dot on the images that they did.

Overall, the response to the project has been positive. 

“I think everyone was really excited for a project like this,” Reyes-Martin said of Wednesday night’s presentation by the college to Our Mesa Neighborhood

The new athletic complex is still years away. The college is taking its time in giving the new Sports Pavilion the care and consideration that it deserves. 

Soon enough, bulldozers will be knocking down walls, and a new age of athletics will be born at City College. 

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