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March 27, 2023

Grants fund green transportation efforts at SBHS

Information and photo courtesy of San Benito High School:
San Benito High School this year has used $1.3 million in grants from the Monterey Bay Air Resources Control Board to purchase four buses, a diesel-powered shop truck, four gas-powered shop trucks, four Traverses, an electric cart and fund the installation of cameras on all buses.
The funding has allowed the district to replace older, higher pollution-emitting vehicles in the fleet, including the replacement of four diesel-burning buses with clean-burning versions. All district buses now have seatbelts. A gas-powered cart used on campus was replaced by an electric cart
District Maintenance, Operations and Transportation Manager Kristy Bettencourt recently reported to the Board of Trustees that future grant funding is also expected to fund an electric school bus and Air Resource Board grant funding will pay for additional plants, trees, signage and bike racks on campus.
Bettencourt reported on the installation of drought-resistant plants throughout campus, the addition of fresh paint to buildings, the installation of a new monument sign on the 400s campus, the addition of push bar gates to the fences on the West Street side of the main campus, and an inside facelift for O’Donnell Gym over the summer.
She said that the sale of district items through the Govdeals website has netted $172,000 that is being used for campus improvements.
The California Highway Patrol on Oct. 18 found all nine of the district’s school buses to be in safe operating condition, according to Bettencourt’s report, and she noted that maintenance and facilities plans for this school year include installing nodes and sprinklers to improve water efficiency on campus, upgrading push bar gates on the 300 campus, repairing the floors in the boys’ and girls’ locker rooms, adding additional exterior security lights on main campus, the installation of more drought-resistant plants and replacing worn carpet in the 400s campus.