SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Maria Bonita School District hit a major milestone during the construction of its newest elementary school Thursday afternoon.
After several months of construction, workers placed the final steel beam into place on one of the school's two-story buildings.
"It is amazing," said Santa Maria Bonita School District Superintendent Luke Ontiveros. "I drive by at least twice a day on my way to and from way and it's a credit to the work crew, it's a credit to the bond oversight committee, the board and especially the community for their support to enable us to get the project to this point."
The placement of the beam marks a significant achievement towards the completion of the project that is located in the Enos Ranch development, along College Drive and Meehan Street,
"When you have a design like this, where you have a major structural frame system, erecting the last piece of structural steel into the building is a very momentous occasion," said Albert Giacomazzi, President/CEO of AMG & Associates, the construction company building the school.
To celebrate the occasion, school district officials, along with architects, project managers and construction workers signed the beam before it was lifted into place.
With the structural phase now complete, crews can now begin work in other areas that will begin to transform the site.
"Our foundations are about 80 percent complete," said Giacomazzi. "We have started doing the concrete for the slabs, which now enables us to go ahead and start the framing of the interior and exteriors of the walls and we've also started placing concrete on the second floor decks and roof decks."
Giacomazzi said work is on schedule and on track towards finishing the project in time for students to start in August 2020.
"We're holding very tight to our schedule," said Giacomazzi. "We've been working overtimes on weekends as needed. We are projected to hit our completion date."
When finished, the campus will be a one-a-kind campus in the Santa Maria Valley.
"This is a unique design," said Ontiveros. "It really is built around 21st century skills, collaboration, communication, creativity. There's some learning areas outside of the traditional classrooms that we'll be able to maximize and take advantage. Besides the two-story design, it's really that programmatic piece that we'll be able to implement that really is going to make a difference in the futures of our children."
While construction is moving at a rapid pace, the naming of the school remains something still to come in the future.
"That's a downstream piece," said Ontiveros. "That's one of the last elements. We're really working on the operational pieces to get the construction and the other support pieces in place for the program design and so the naming process will come next spring."
As its done previously, the district will reach out to the community for ideas on who or what to name the school after.
The school will cost between $40 to $50 million to build.
Funding will come primarily through Measure T bond money, which city voters passed in 2014.