Montecito burning: Westmont College, faculty housing

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With more than 100 homes and at least 2,500 acres burned at the time of this posting, reports continue to pour in on the extent of the damage.

Hard hit was Westmont College, which posted this update on its website:


326 students in Gym, fires outNovember 14th, 2008 8:00 am: There are no active fires on campus, no injuries, and everyone is safe. Westmont has 326 students remaining in the Gym; those students with transportation have been released from campus because it is safe for them to travel on area roads. Westmont has lost eight structures, four buildings in Clark halls (F,G,M,S), the physics building, the old math building and the two quonset huts. The later three structures were scheduled for demolition soon. Fourteen faculty homes in Las Barrancas have burned; there is damage to trees, and wooded areas on campus, but much of the formal gardens remains intact.

Westmont started a program of developing homes for faculty near campus in 1995. The mostly ranch-style one- and two-story models -- from 1,700 to 1,850 square feet -- could be purchased at reduced prices as a perk of employment.

On the open market, in Westmont’s 93108 Santa Barbara ZIP Code, 16 homes sold in September at a median price of $1,925,000, a drop in price of 34.7% from the same month a year ago, according to DMA DataQuick. shows about 275 homes currently listed in the area from $729,000 to $47 million.

-- Lauren Beale

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