Santa Barbara Daily Sound

Westmont purchases water-pumper truck

When flames roared down the hillside and across the Westmont College campus in mid-November, eucalyptus trees lit up like kindling and cut off dozens of faculty, staff and neighbors from the safety of Murchison Gym. And while Westmont officials certainly aren’t hoping for a repeat of the Tea Fire, they have already started preparing for one with the purchase of a 350-gallon water truck. more

Westmont names new athletic director

Westmont College officials yesterday announced the appointment of Dave Odell as the school’s new athletic director. Odell, a 1989 Westmont graduate, played on the school’s basketball team for four seasons and is currently an adjunct professor in the economics and business department — a post he will continue to fill through the end of the school year. Odell takes the reins of the department from outgoing director Dave Wolf, who has been the athletic director for the last 10 years and is also the director of soccer. more

“NUTS TO THE NUTCRACKER: HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS BEYOND WALTZING WITH FLOWERS”

Santa Barbara’s Master Chorale offers its annual holiday concert tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. over at Unitarian Society. Director Steven Hodson – winding up his first year as the ensembles new music director – is also a professor of music at Westmont, so this concert has extra poignancy for the community in the wake of Tea Fire. more

Court gives green light to Westmont construction

Just days before Westmont broke ground, opponents of the project and school attorneys made oral arguments to the court of appeal. Opponents alleged the school relied on an environmental impact report that didn’t adequately assess the scale of the project. But the appeals court didn’t agree, saying in its ruling that it concurred with a Superior Court ruling that found Westmont had done nothing wrong. more

Westmont, UCSB students not involved in Tea Fire

Sheriff Bill Brown had confirmed on Tuesday that the 10 individuals between the ages of 18 and 22 suspected of leaving a bonfire smoldering in an area known as the “Tea Garden” are associated with a local school, but declined to comment further. In a statement released yesterday afternoon, Westmont President Gayle D. Beebe called on the community to avoid speculating about who started the fire and focus on recovery. more

Westmont Breaks Ground on Master Plan

After 32 years of dreaming, golden-tipped shovels sunk into the dirt at Westmont College yesterday, where school officials broke ground on two new buildings as part of the campus master plan. The groundbreaking marks a new era for the school, which despite crowded classrooms and sparse office space that often forced students to sit on the floor, hasn’t constructed a new building in 24 years. more

City recognizes solar energy projects

A slate of single-family homes, commercial buildings and institutional facilities earned recognition from Santa Barbara city leaders yesterday for installing solar energy systems. Those earning the city’s highest award included David Vanderlaan’s home on Westmont Road. more

Local Business: Movers and Shakers

David Winter, president emeritus of Westmont College, has assumed the role of interim headmaster at Providence Hall, a Christian preparatory high school in Santa Barbara. Winter, 77, served 25 years as the president of Westmont untill 2001. more

Westmont Gym Gets New Floor

A new state-of-the-art court in Westmont College’s Murchison Gym is receiving finishing touches from workers this week. Funded through donations, the new hardwood floor will be accented by new bleachers, glass and doors in the lobby. more

Movers & Shakers

Rick Pointer, a professor of history at Westmont, has been named as the first recipient of the recently created Fletcher Jones Foundation Endowed Chair in Social Sciences. more