By Mary O’KEEFE
Crescenta Valley High School students were informed last week that the Class of 2012 will, more than likely, not be holding its graduating ceremony at Stengel Field in Glendale.
For many years the baseball field has been the location for the CVHS ceremony, however, due to bleacher and building structure concerns by the city, the Glendale Unified School District will be looking for a new graduation home.
“There was a concern by park officials and city inspectors that the field [structures] were deteriorating last spring,” said Sgt. Tom Lorenz, city of Glendale spokesman.
Officials inspected the bleachers and substructures including the two clubhouses, restrooms and snack facility.
Inspectors closed off a railing in the bleacher area but determined the structure was sound for CVHS graduation ceremony June 2011. Another inspection after the ceremony brought more structural concerns.
The stadium was designed to hold 1,800 people, however, the city determined that after years of service the integrity of the structure could no longer hold that capacity, Lorenz said.
The field opened in 1949, originally named Verdugo Park Municipal Baseball field but was renamed Stengel Field in 1952 in honor of baseball legend and local resident Casey Stengel, according to the city of Glendale’s website.
CVHS Principal Michele Doll received an email from the city stating the structure was unsafe and would probably not be available for the 2012 ceremony.
The school administration, along with the Glendale Unified School District, began planning for alternative sites.
“We are always thinking and planning ahead,” Doll said.
The district is looking for other sites but has yet to receive the final word from the city of the cancelation.
“As of right now no decision has been made,” said Superintendent Richard Sheehan. “I have not spoken to anyone at the city yet.”
Sheehan said the district is looking into a couple of facilities.
Glendale Community College has been mentioned as a possible alternative.
“We have a great working relationship with [GCC],” Sheehan said.
He added that Dr. John Garcia, deputy superintendent, will be looking into alternatives and following up with the city to determine if repairs will be done in time for the June ceremony.
With the city’s budget cuts it is doubtful if the repairs will be done in time for the 2012 ceremony, Lorenz said, adding that other alternatives to cover the costs of repairs are being explored.