Old Jefferson Campus New Home For SB Middle School

Local Landmark Will Be Ready for Fall 2011 Relocation

Santa Barbara Middle School will relocate to the historic Brooks Jefferson campus in the Riviera neighborhood of Santa Barbara in the fall of 2011.

Jefferson campus from APS
Click to enlarge photo

Jefferson campus from APS

“After an exhaustive search, we’re thrilled to achieve long-term site stability on one of the premier educational campuses in Santa Barbara,” stated Brian McWilliams, Head of School for the independent middle school serving grades 6-9. He continued, “We’re excited to continue our long tradition of excellence in education on that site.”

Ernie Brooks , co-owner of the property and son of the founder of Brooks Institute of Photography, commented, “We chose to work with Santa Barbara Middle School because of their passionate and innovative approach to quality education in today’s changing environment.”

Jefferson campus building detail
Click to enlarge photo

Jefferson campus building detail

Overlooking the city of Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean, the new location will provide a dynamic platform for Santa Barbara Middle School’s innovative program. SBMS has long been heralded as a leader in experiential education, providing a unique and powerful learning opportunity exclusively for middle school students. The SBMS program builds attitudes of lifelong learning and success in its students with an emphasis on academic excellence, enrichment in the arts and athletics, outdoor education, community service, character development, and an opportunity for the achievement of a personal best for all its students.

Craig Zimmerman, President of the SBMS Board of Trustees, remarked, “We are grateful to Ernie and Pat Brooks for their long-term commitment to education and for making this site opportunity available to us. Santa Barbara Middle School promises to honor their vision of delivering a world-class learning environment on this important campus.”

Aerial shot of Jefferson campus
Click to enlarge photo

Aerial shot of Jefferson campus

SBMS will immediately embark on a $2.68 million capital campaign to fund planned campus improvements that will allow the school to meet the ever-demanding needs of the 21st Century student. A quarter of that goal has already been raised, and an experienced and able team is assembled to raise the remaining funds needed by June 2011. Campus improvements will include enhanced science and creative design labs, new performing arts studios, a state of the art theater and technology center, new exterior landscaping, special “shops” to support the school’s unique and nationally recognized outdoor education curriculum, and a central gathering place for the entire school community to come together.

“This marks a historic moment in our 34-year history,” said McWilliams. “Santa Barbara Middle School is excited to continue our proven and unique program that delivers an exceptional educational opportunity to local middle school students.”

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Disaster Relief Rundown for Santa Barbara 

A tally of nonprofit giving since the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow.

Santa Barbara County to Consider App-Driven Rental Two-Wheelers

A meeting is scheduled November 6 for ordinance regulations.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day Established in Santa Barbara County

Supervisors unanimously approved the second Monday in October.

Newly Restored Wetlands Opens Public Trails

North Campus Open Space near UCSB is seeing wildlife returning already.

Mental Health Experts Consider More Psychiatric Beds

Hospital leaders are in talks with county Behavioral Wellness and Sheriff's Office.