By Brandon HENSLEY
esidents waiting to use the track and field at Crescenta Valley High School again will have to be patient for a couple of weeks more. Glendale Unified School District officials said the renovation of Osborne Field is on target to be completed by Aug. 4, in time for the start of the new school year.
The company Sprinturf, LLC, which won the bid from GUSD, started prep work to the decade-old surface in mid-July.
“If you had been on the field, it was showing its age,” said CV Principal Linda Junge. “Just a football player getting tackled and going down. It was time.”
The field was renovated in 2006 by fundraising efforts from CV CAN, an organization designed to raise money for local causes. The dirt track and grass field, which had been there for decades, was replaced by synthetic turf and rubber.
“The original field was horrible,” said Grace Chase, an original committee member of CV CAN. “It was rocks and dirt … the track was in disrepair. When it rained it was awful.”
The organization began in 2004 with the specific intent to raise money for a new field. It raised $200,000 its first year before donor Susan Osborne, for which the field is named, gave $1.2 million.
During the school year and parts of summer, Falcon football and soccer teams use the field daily. The track and field is open every evening until 10 p.m., and community members and youth sports have made good use of it over the years.
GUSD is now in charge of maintenance. District administrator of facilities Alan Reising said the cost to renovate the field is approximately $440,000. The new field surface will include a new logo at midfield and brighter yard lines and numbers. The rubber track is being cleaned and resurfaced with new lines.
Reising said the lifespan of these synthetic fields is usually a decade. Sun damage and wear and tear are the culprits. Because of the new field, the high school, CV CAN and Montrose Church have been able to partner with Special Olympics to host the Tri-Valley games every spring.
“I’m very happy it lasted as long as it did based on how many people use it,” Chase said. “That was the intent of the field. Why spend all that money for a few people? It’s important to have the venue for the whole community.”
Junge said work on the track was supposed to start in June. The football team was able to hold summer scrimmages against other schools on the field, though coaches thought they would have to move those to nearby Clark Magnet High School. The last week of summer practices were held at Clark to accommodate the field’s installation. The football program is not expected to be impacted when practices start up again in August.
The varsity team won the CIF Southeast Division championship last season.
“The reality is, we have a championship football team and we don’t want to disadvantage their practice schedule,” Junge said.
While the track and field will soon be taken care of, the school is looking at a longer project ahead with the renovations to its science classrooms. The three-story 2000 building, which can be seen off Ramsdell Avenue, will have its first two floors updated over the course of the 2015-16 school year, and perhaps longer.
“The building is in need of significant modernization,” said Reising. “It largely hasn’t been touched since the school began.”
The modernization process includes new furniture, gas lines, wiring, and ceilings as well as some walls being opened up. Junge said the goal is to make the rooms interchangeable, so each can be used for physics, chemistry or biology.
There will two phases to the renovation. The first phase is already in progress, as teachers from the first floor have been reassigned to other places on campus. Reising said construction hasn’t begun, though, because the district is still looking at bids. GUSD thought it had a winning bid earlier this year, but that fell through. Junge said everyone is hopeful renovation can still start in August or September.
The second phase will include moving teachers and students out of the second floor and into five bungalows that were put in this month near the softball field.
“Phase II could begin during spring break or it could get pushed to next year. It depends on how the work progresses,” Junge said.
The school has made sure labs can still take place during this time, and Junge said the chemistry classrooms that jut out onto the quad area will not be a part of the first phase.
Renovations will be paid for with Measure S bond monies that were approved in 2011, which include $270 million available to update GUSD school facilities. Reising said just over $6 million is being used for the Crescenta Valley High School project.
The third floor of the building will undergo slight repairs, but will not be a part of the construction because it is a social science floor, and does not house any labs.
“They’re not part of what’s being budgeted for. This is targeting science classrooms,” Reising said.
The space where the bungalows sit may be a problem in the future. Lacrosse, softball and cheerleading all use that area for practice. The bungalows were brought in from the fence that borders the softball field and La Crescenta Elementary.
Junge said the softball field will be ready for use before the season begins next spring, but did acknowledge real estate for other activities is decreasing.
“We feel a pinch because our square-footage is not what we would like,” she said.