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SMHS Health Academy Receives $4.4 Million Grant

ROBERT REYES

Staff Writer

On February 25th, it was announced that there are plans to construct a new building for the San Marcos High School’s Health Career Academy. A 4.4 million dollar fundraising plan was validated by the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education to raise funds for the building, along with upgrading the school’s Wellness Center and mental health services. 

The San Marcos Royal Pride Foundation will be in charge of fundraising for the campaign. The foundation needs a 4.4 million dollar district bond, which would mean $8.8 million to construct the new building. Tina Bellue, director of the Royal Pride Foundation, noted the board’s excitement on the new Building. 

“The Royal Pride Foundation Board is excited to support where it can. One of the main ways RPF is supporting the campaign is by having a restricted fund account. That means Royal Pride Foundation will still be funding teacher grants and faculty grants as well as other campus improvements but will have a special reserve for gifts that are strictly for the HCA and Wellness Capital Project. This is a legacy that RPF is proud to be a part of.” The Royal Pride foundation has already acquired funds from various organizations. They received a $674,393 grant from the state’s K-12 Strong Workforce program, in addition to a $25,000 donation from the Mosher Foundation.

For the last 21 years, the Health Career Academy has been at San Marcos Highschool. The Health Career Academy is a program where students, grades 10 through 12, learn real-life experience that will translate over towards a healthcare career. Last year, 579 students graduated from the program. Along with that, 273 students have graduated as Certified Nursing Assistants through dual enrollment classes offered by SBCC to Health Career Academy students.

 Inside, the building will have five new classrooms in addition to a large demonstration room. Inside one of the classrooms, there will be a medical biology lab. Along with that, the building will include a director’s office and storage.

Dr. Glazer, principal at San Marcos High School, has been directly involved in the project. 

“It has been a goal of mine to update our Wellness Center to provide a comprehensive school-based mental health services and wellness education to the school and the community at large. I also wanted to expand the Health Careers Academy. When I found out that the District already had 4.4 million dollars bond funds available to build a new building, I saw a wonderful opportunity to connect these two projects to create an area dedicated to wellness development.” She also noted that the new building will expand the opportunities for our students to continue to acquire valuable skills to become health care professionals. 

Students at San Marcos high school are hoping that the new building will create even more opportunities for students, and will encourage others to join.

Image courtesy of Dr. Glazer

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