SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - An eyesore on Santa Barbara's Eastside could soon morph into housing for local teachers, if approved.
The old Lawrence M. Parma School at 915 E. Montecito St. sits empty behind a chain link fence, just off Milpas St. and across from the Trader Joe's.
The district-owned, special education campus closed in 1989.
"We are looking to build somewhere between 40 to 45 units and the surveys that we have done have asked us to build properties between one and three bedrooms," said Dr. Hilda Maldonado, SBUSD Superintendent. "As we get closer to the build-out, we'll look at the sizes of the apartments to determine how many it will be, ultimately,"
Once built, the housing will be earmarked as rental properties strictly for district employees.
"This is very much targeting our very low income and low income staff and we want to make sure that we have affordable rentals so it will be managed by the Housing Authority."
The superintendent also said that SBUSD's volunteer survey revealed roughly 25 to 30 percent of its staff qualify for the this level of housing.
Maldonado shared that the district is also looking at its other "unused" properties on its campuses in Goleta and Santa Barbara.
Next steps include legal agreements and Board approval. If the project gets the green light, the district hopes to break ground within roughly the next two to five years.
"I am just excited to be able to help our community with what we can do as a school district to continue to address the housing issue that many of our employees and families really are dealing with and, hoping that other organizations will do the same."