The Santa Maria-Bonita School District has been battling an overcrowding problem for the past several years. The district’s next step to fix the situation is the construction of a new elementary school.

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The district says construction is about one month ahead of schedule. Officials say the student population in Santa Maria has increased by 2,500 in the last five years, and this new school could help alleviate the overcrowding.

“That growth pattern has been ongoing for the past five years,” said Matt Beecher, Santa Maria-Bonita School District Assistant Superintendent for Business Services. “And we’ll expect it to continue for at least the next four.”

Beecher says the new elementary school off South Blosser Road will add between 700 and 900 seats when it opens for the 2015-2016 school year.

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