FAQs #1 (August 2022)
Facility Needs Frequently Asked Questions
We receive many questions from parents, teachers, local leaders, and community members about the need for second high school. Below are some of the commonly-asked questions about the facility needs and steps the District is taking to serve current residents and a growing student population. Click here to download the FAQ #1 in English and Spanish.
What is the current enrollment and capacity of Hollister High School?
The San Benito High School District has served almost 100 percent of the residents of the City of Hollister and San Benito County for over 125 years. It is the fourth largest high school in Northern California and continues to grow. The school has the capacity for approximately 3,437 students. For the 2022-23 school year, enrollment is projected to exceed 3,500 students.
Why is Hollister High School growing?
Growth in local residential housing causes enrollment growth at the high school. Until about 2016, student enrollment remained steady at approximately 3,000 students. In five short years, student enrollment has grown by 17.8 percent, with the rate of growth each year outpacing each prior year. Student enrollment is expected to exceed 3,500 students this year.
What happens if the high school exceeds its student capacity?
Hollister High School will reach capacity this Fall. The District added seven portable classrooms on the southeast corner of campus. The District has limited space to provide essential support facilities needed to serve future student growth. The student capacity is becoming too large to meet the academic and nutritional needs of students.
What impact is housing growth having on Hollister High School?
The District commissioned a study from School Facility Consultants in 2020 to determine the number of new students generated per new home. The study concluded that for every 100 single-family homes built in 2010, 35 new students arrived at the high school in 2020. This rate is greater than the state average of 20 new students per 100 homes. With recent and projected residential growth, a new high school is necessary to serve our students.
Did the bond measures approved by the community add classroom space?
Yes, the bond measures added capacity at Hollister High School. The bonds funded several new buildings, including a Career Technical Education Building, a Science and Robotics Building, and a Visual and Performing Arts and Academic Building. These facilities enabled Hollister High School to serve 3,437 students.
When could a second high school be built?
It takes approximately five to seven years to plan, design, and construct a new high school.
How much housing is planned in San Benito County?
The District is aware of 40 active projects in the City and County, totaling over 3,800 new housing units.
Are we expecting housing growth to continue beyond the 40 active projects?
Yes. The District is aware of the potential for an additional 5,005 new housing units based on requirements set forth by the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
Is the statewide housing shortage impacting the District?
Yes. The California Department of Housing and Community Development is requiring the City and County to revise zoning to accommodate 5,005 additional housing units. New legislation does not allocate additional money to school districts to expand public schools needed for a growing population.
Where will a second high school be located?
Decisions have not been made about the location of a second campus, the size of the school, or what kind of programs will be offered. School sites must meet specific safety standards and criteria approved by the California Department of Education. The District owns a vacant parcel of land located on Best Road south of Hollister, but has not finalized its building plans.
Will the community have input into the vision for the new high school?
Yes. Community input is crucial. The District is forming a Facilities Needs Committee to provide input on the location, educational programs, facilities, and access for the new high school. The Committee will be composed of educators, parents, students, as well as community and business leaders.