New gifts totaling $720,000 have provided a major boost to the $3.5 million capital campaign established to raise money for the new home of the Multimedia Arts & Design Academy (MAD) at Santa Barbara High School.

Academy Director Dan Williams announced last week the following gifts, in addition to $1.5 million already received from the State of California and $500,000 from the Santa Barbara School District:

• $500,000 from the Pulice Family Trust of Santa Barbara

• $150,000 from

• $50,000 from QAD

• $20,000 from the Parker family of Santa Barbara

The campaign has now raised $2.72 million of the $3.5 million needed to renovate the historic building – located on Nopal Street just north of Canon Perdido – that will become the new home for the growing MAD Academy.

Each of the donors above will have their name featured in the new building. The Pulice family will lend its name to the entire building, will name the large media studio, QAD will appear in the Conference Room, and the Parker family name will occupy the most prominent position on the Appreciation Wall.

“We are immensely grateful to these donors for so generously supporting a visionary model of education,” said Santa Barbara High School Principal John Becchio. “The new MAD Academy facility will allow more students to take advantage of an education that is innovative, engaging and relevant, and it will provide years and years of service to the entire high school and the community at large. We can’t adequately express our appreciation to all of these donors.”

“We strive to connect the MAD Academy to the community beyond the high school,” said Williams, “and these incredible contributions – coming from the state, the district and local companies and families – confirm that those connections are real and expanding. This generous support for the program and our new state-of-the-art facility will have help prepare students for college and life for decades to come.”

Renovation of the building, which was formerly used for shop classes, is the culmination of a lengthy process for the MAD Academy. It opened in 1996 with 47 students, six computers and no dedicated space of its own but now has 250 students occupying a cramped 2,500-square-foot space. With more than three times the current square footage, a full complement of the latest technology, more office and meeting space and larger computer labs, classrooms and studios, the new facility will have a vastly enhanced ability to serve the academy, Santa Barbara High School and the greater community.

The new building is expected to be ready for occupation in spring 2013.


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