Two SB Unified Schools Open Fields for Public Use After-Hours

Ribbon cutting at Harding Elementary (courtesy)

The fields at Harding University Partnership School and La Cumbre Junior High are open for use by the general public after hours.

The goal is to provide more open spaces for neighbors on the westside who are in need of somewhere to play and recreate where there aren’t parks

Right now, Harding’s outdoor space is available Monday through Friday, after school until sundown

La Cumbre is open to the public on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday to celebrate the opening.

“To have a healthy mind, we have to have a healthy body. This open space will give people living on the west side a place to play, exercise, or just enjoy being outside. We are grateful to everyone who helped make this valuable resource available to the community,” said Dr. Hilda Maldonado, Superintendent.

The opening is able to happen thanks in part to SBPD Officers and City Parks and Recreation Rangers patrolling the campuses to ensure safety.

Those who use the schools are asked to not litter, honor our wheel-free zone (strollers and mobility aids ok), leave dogs at home, and monitor the safety of their children at all times.


Written by SBUnified

Press releases written by the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD). Learn more at

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    • Minor useage is usually fine, but facility requests are usually required for organized events.Fields can get really torn up with heavy use and especially weather. Sometimes outside users could care less about the damage they cause. School staff wants safe surfaces for school activities so facility managers do their best to manage and keep the fields in decent shape. Schools will lock down the fields as needed if they have ongoing negative issues.

      • Fences and gates are present to close the perimeter of the school during the school day for student safety. They were intentionally added not “indiscriminately”.
        Now, if they make a decision to close the gates in the evening, I’m sure the reasons vary. While we would like to think that the public school field is public property and we can use it as such, it does need to be managed so the overall facility is ready for the students. Same with our government buildings…

  1. All fields were open to the public until recently. Before the district spent 40 million to redo Peabody Stadium SB High campus and basketball courts were open to the public. Now it’s chained and locked.
    Would be interesting for an explanation from the district why this changed and what specifically are extra
    costs. Considering our district is largely paid for by community taxes it seems strange to be locked out something we all invested in. Thank you Oscar Guitierrez for raising this at City Council meeting and getting the ball rolling. Let’s open up all campuses.

    • Well, granted we are investing for the students, not for ourselves.

      “Public” as it pertains to public schools does not serve to entitle the public to the use of the facilities. Consider that Dos Pueblos has an Olympic sized swimming pool. Very costly but it’s not for you and your family to go prod around in

  2. Really hope they add the basketball court at SB High like it was pre Peabody Stadium 40 million remodel. Youth in the community and adults benefit from recreation. Maybe put in cameras so that they can hold
    people accountable if someone sprays graffiti or causes harm. Opening swimming pools to the public when not in use by students is a wonderful idea. Give youth positive outlets that are free, like basketball courts to play on with their friends.

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