School News, Part II

By Tim Buckley   |   April 5, 2022

(The following is the second installment of an interview with Cold Spring School Foundation President Holly Kane. The previous installment can be found in last week’s edition, MJ Volume 28 Issue 12.) 

Q. We’ve been reporting on the school’s new cross-curricular building on campus. Tell us about it. 

A. We have a beautiful yet aging campus that fits in well with the semi-rural character of the neighborhood. The majority of our campus is nearly 70 years old. The core school building was built in 1927 – nearly 100 years ago! Five additional classrooms were added in the 1950s and four more in the 1990s. It is important to all of us that the new building maintains the same feel. We are thrilled that the same firm, 19six Architects, that helped build the school nearly 100 years ago is on board to help us now. They are fully committed to the vision of blending in the new with the old. The new classroom building will be constructed along the Cold Spring Road side of the campus next to the existing portable structures. 

Public schools in California are not offered state funds for school buildings and facilities so most rely on bond measures to pay for needed projects. Phase 2 will require the approval of a future bond measure.

What will the new classroom be used for? 

At Cold Spring we offer cross-curricular teaching, which means a conscious effort to apply knowledge and principles to more than one academic discipline simultaneously. The new building will give us more space to do so by encompassing two classrooms with a workshop feel to teach science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM). The building will be sustainable, eco-friendly, and economical. The physical structure will utilize retractable, sliding barn doors that will allow the two classrooms to easily interact with each other. We’re being economically strategic with this design. Rather than building two traditional classrooms that are more costly due to regulations, we are adding this workshop space for all grades to use. 

Are there plans for further expansion? 

Yes. The new building is the first phase of a two-phase addition to the campus. This building was envisioned as part of our facilities master plan adopted in 2006, when district leadership first saw this need to improve our aging infrastructure. This plan has been guiding our decisions since its adoption. That was over 15 years ago. The project is a long time coming. 

What will the Phase 2 building provide? Why is it needed? 

I know you have seen the aging portable buildings at the front of the school… Phase 2 will replace those once and for all. The plan is for the administration office, now located in the middle of campus, to move to the entrance of campus on Cold Spring Road to provide a secure entryway to campus with an enhanced check-in process for visitors. Phase 2 will also provide a third classroom and student support area. History buffs may like to know that in 1927 the original entrance to campus was on Sycamore Canyon Road before it became Highway 192 and far too dangerous to have a school entrance on a busy street. 

The school and its administration have taken heat recently for moving forward with an expansion project following a failed bond measure. What would you like the neighboring community – and Montecito in general – to know about Cold Spring School? 

Our campus is purposefully welcoming – we invite everyone to visit our neighborhood school. We welcome the support of the community as we build the resources to fund these necessary facility projects. Studies show that children learn better in environments that are conducive to learning. We are proud that our district leadership fully understands that and has strategically set aside one million dollars in reserves that are earmarked in a facilities fund. This fund is the basis of the project and gives us the momentum we need to make Phase 1 a reality and relieve the immediate overcrowding of our students. We are fundraising from individual and corporate donors, and welcome additional support. Our nonprofit accepts one-time or monthly donations as well as stock gifts as some community members prefer. 

Public schools in California are not offered state funds for school buildings and facilities so most rely on bond measures to pay for needed projects. Phase 2 will require the approval of a future bond measure. We are laying the groundwork now (so to speak!) for the time when we will engage the community in supporting a bond measure on the ballot. Our goal is for the community to understand that our school requires improvements to better serve our students. We’re a strong community that is committed to moving forward in a positive direction. That means taking care of our school and supporting our students for generations to come. 

To learn more about the Classroom Expansion Project, email or visit

Montecito Welcomes New Dentist

Mahmood Loul, DDS, has purchased the dental practices of Dr. Ronald Dinning and Dr. David Cowan, located in the Las Aves complex on the corner of Cabrillo Blvd and Los Patos Way. While Dr. Dinning has moved out of state, Dr. Cowan is still seeing patients and working together with Dr. Loul. 

Dr. Loul hails from the Bay Area, most recently Berkeley, where he worked in a high-end dentistry practice. Originally from New Jersey with Syrian-born parents, Dr. Loul began his dental studies in Syria and continued his schooling in Guyana, South America. He then moved back to the United States, specifically California, to begin his schooling at the University of the Pacific. He has traveled to many different countries – including Greece, Turkey, Guyana, and Jamaica – in order to provide free dental care on humanitarian missions. “Living in different countries and working in different dental settings gave me invaluable perspective related to oral health care,” he said. 

Seeking to buy his own practice for several years, when he heard that Dr. Dinning, who has practiced dentistry in Montecito for decades, was looking to sell his practice, Dr. Loul knew it would be the ideal location. “It was a good fit. We vetted each other, and Dr. Dinning knew I would be a good fit for his patients,” he said. Dr. Loul also sought to buy Dr. Cowan’s practice, in order to manage the entire practice into one cohesive, state-of-the-art dental studio. There are immediate plans to add more technology, including 3D printing and imaging, and digitize every patient chart. “I practice dentistry in a sustainable way. No impressions and no paper charts,” he explained, adding that the seven-room office will be refreshed over time. 

From routine dental care, cleanings, and aesthetics, Dr. Loul says his goal for the practice is to remain patient-centered, and to provide the highest quality dentistry. “From the minute patients walk in, to the minute that they leave, we make sure they are comfortable,” he said. 

Dr. Loul has a team of three hygienists, four assistants, and three front desk staff to help both him and Dr. Cowan. A very important member of the team is Zull, Dr. Loul’s Weimaraner, who is trained as an emotional support animal. “About half of my patients ask to have him on their laps during their procedures,” he explained. “It calms them immediately and takes their focus from their mouths to the cuddly dog sitting on their lap. They really love it.” 

Dr. Loul, who officially took over the practice in January, says he looks forward to meeting new patients and getting to know the Montecito community. “I’m very happy to be here, and I know my dentistry and attention to detail will be appreciated,” he said. 

Loul Dental Studio is located at 1805 East Cabrillo Blvd, Suite A. For more information, visit louldentals

Seniors’ Efforts

On April 10, the Santa Barbara National Charity League (NCL) will host its Senior Recognition Event at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. The past two years have seen the event held in a modified form, but the celebration is back in-person and ready for “Springtime in Paris.” The 25 graduating seniors along with their friends and families will dress to theme and enjoy a seasonal fashion show, presented by the NCL graduates and director/choreographer Jodi de Marcos. The NCL nourishes mother-daughter relationships through shared acts of philanthropy and community support. Together the NCL seniors have dedicated six years and nearly 6,400 hours of volunteer work to over 20 local nonprofits, with more than 400 hours from this past year alone. Our congratulations to the Class of 2022 and all of their hard work!  


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