Glendale Sports Complex field to be home turf for St. Francis baseball team

With the Glendale City Council’s unanimous approval Tuesday, St. Francis High School’s baseball team will be able to use and improve a field at the Glendale Sports Complex for its home games, free of charge, for the next decade.

According to a city staff report, St. Francis officials approached the city’s Community Services and Parks Department in 2014 to discuss cooperative use of field No. 1 at the facility.

The baseball team, based in La Cañada Flintridge, currently plays its home games at Jackie Robinson Baseball Field in Pasadena.

“It’s a win-win for the city and the school,” said Onnig Bulanikian, community services and parks director.

The Glendale Sports Complex is 27-acre park located in the San Rafael hills, a roughly 6-mile drive from the high school. Two artificial-turf soccer fields, three baseball fields and a softball field, a concession stand and restroom building as well as a meeting room are all located in the park.

The school will enter into a 10-year lease with the city that allows free use of the facility from January through May and will accommodate any post-season games. It is still required to pay for any non-season use.

In exchange, the school has agreed to fund and help with improvements to the facility that include replacing all-natural turf with synthetic turf, renovating the dugout and score booth and adding a bullpen and batting cage for the players.

St. Francis, a Catholic college-preparatory school, cannot display religious symbols or text on its banners but are allowed to use the school and team names as well as colors.

Councilman Ara Najarian said he approved, without reservations, of the partnership between the city and the school.

“St. Francis is a very quality organization. The young men that attend St. Francis conduct themselves at all times with the greatest respect and behavior,” Najarian said.

“I know that because my two kids went to St. Francis. They were a little wild going in but, when they came out, they were straight as an arrow,” he added.

Council members Paula Devine and Zareh Sinanyan joined in sharing a similar sentiment.

“It’s a great cooperative engagement with a good educational institution,” Sinanyan said.

The estimated costs for the renovations are between $1 million to $1.5 million, city documents state.

According to the project schedule, a three-month construction period should begin early next year and be completed sometime in March.

Twitter: @JeffLanda

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