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Renovations of district athletic facilities still a couple of years away

Renovations of district athletic facilities still a couple of years away
A report from the city of Glendale’s director of community services laid out that it will be at least a couple of years before the planned completion of three joint-use projects, including resurfaced hardcourts and new fencing at Glendale, will be completed. (Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press)

A report from the city of Glendale’s director of community services and parks last week stated it will be at least a couple of years before the completion of three joint-use projects sponsored by the city and the Glendale Unified School District.

Onnig Bulanikian laid out the slow progress on tennis courts at Glendale High School and multipurpose fields at Wilson Middle School and Cerritos Elementary School during a joint City Council and school district meeting on Sept. 25.

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Initially, council members approved a $16-million developmental-impact-fee strategic plan in March 2016 that called for construction of multipurpose fields at Columbus Elementary and Wilson Middle School.

Six months later, the city hosted a community forum at Columbus after residents and business owners raised concerns over how the project would negatively impact the community.

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After the meeting, city and district officials selected Cerritos as a replacement site for Columbus.

At Cerritos, the new field will span 135 feet by 210 feet, be suitable for students 12 years old and younger, and include sports-field lighting and security fencing. While the existing parking lot will not be changed, the current restroom building will be remodeled.

As for Wilson, the field will be significantly larger at 300 feet by 150 feet, good for students 14 years old and younger, and will also include sports-field lighting, security fencing, new restrooms and a storage building. No changes will be made to the parking lot.

“We’re proposing a U-14 field, a practice field and a running track,” Bulanikian said. “This will be open to the public [on] nights and weekends. It will be available for school use during the day.”

Both fields will be made of artificial turf.

Usage of the facilities will be made available from 4 to 6 p.m. for after-school sports and community organizations, while youth groups and private reservations will be allowed from 6 to 10 p.m. Weekend availability will be on Saturday and Sunday for the public from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Cerritos is in the middle of its California Environmental Quality Act study, which Bulanikian hopes will be completed before the end of the month.

From there, the design and permit-stage planning is expected to continue from next month to December of 2019. The bidding and award process is scheduled from January 2020 to May 2020, with 180 days of construction expected to begin in June 2020.

The Wilson project has a similar, but even longer construction timeline, with work not expected to begin until June 2021.

That length of time did not sit well with City Councilman Vartan Gharpetian.

“The fields are needed,” he said. “…My humble request is to try and expedite this project. Instead of June of 2020, I’m hoping to see [the Cerritos] project start in June of 2019 because we started this project in 2016.”

Regarding Glendale High’s tennis courts, home of the CIF Southern Section girls’ Division IV champions, delays have hampered progress.

The estimated $1.2-million project called for a rehabilitation of the six existing tennis courts, which will include resurfacing the hard courts, setting up a lighting system, adding new fencing and creating accessibility consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Along with the courts, there will be a new restroom building.

While the city secured approval through the Division of the State Architect, which oversees K-12 construction, those permits have since expired.

Bulanikian said the city is turning over responsibility for the project to the school district.

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