The Glendale Unified School District this month took the first steps toward a longtime anticipated project — Crescenta Valley High School’s field development improvements.
The proposed improvements would add a 3,442-seat bleacher system and lights south of the tennis courts and north of the existing track and field, located at 2900 Community Ave. The bleachers would be a permanent fixture with a concrete foundation and the four 80-foot-tall lights would run along the existing track. The project would also include a scoreboard, restroom, buildings for storage and maintenance, a 2,254-square-foot home team room, and a 540-square-foot concession stand.
There are no plans for additional parking. The school expects to use the field Monday through Friday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The purpose of the improvements is to provide light to allow evening and night use of the field for school events and activities, seating space for events like games and graduation ceremonies currently held off campus and a boost to school pride.
Through the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, the state requires a project’s environmental impact to be reviewed prior to construction. Glendale Unified hired PlaceWorks, an urban planning firm, to conduct the review.
The environmental impact report will evaluate air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, hazardous materials, lighting, water, noise, parking, traffic, transportation and more.
During the public meeting in early March, led primarily by PlaceWorks senior associate Julian Capata, more than 20 people took turns at the mic in the school’s auditorium.
The high school’s principal Linda Junge said, “When I first came to CV seven years ago, I was approached by a group of parents who had elementary-aged children...They expressed their desire for permanent stands and updated lights in the CV field to create a place where they would not have to travel eight to 10 miles for home games, a place where they could plan and participate in outdoor activities locally, a place for building community.”
Residents, staff, parents and students who participate on football, soccer, track and field, lacrosse, band and cheer teams shared how the field developments would improve their lives — from lessening transportation costs to having more practice time.
Former principal Linda Evans pointed out, “When you build a high school today, you hope for 50 acres. We have 18. Since I’ve retired, I’ve been to 20 high school campuses. We are the only campus that has one standard field.”
While the majority of the comments supported the project, a handful of residents expressed their concern with noise, parking, safety — specifically reckless driving.
A resident who said her children attended Crescenta Valley High, told those gathered that she loves the school but an increase in people would add to the noise, trash and smoking problems she’s dealt with in the past.
She added, “It’s not fair to the homeowners who contribute to the school.”
Another resident, who said she was an educator, admitted, “We put up with the parking and we put up with the problems because we did move into this area knowing there is a high school.”
“You’re introducing a huge seating capacity and you’re depending on the neighborhood to absorb that parking. It’s not realistic. It’s not reasonable,” she added.
She said she’s eager to see the study results of noise, pollution and traffic.
An initial study outlines the categories Placeworks will study in detail. The document was made available in the district office, Crescenta Valley High and online through gusd.net/CVHSField.
The first public review started on Feb. 20 and runs through March 20, during which the district is accepting comments and questions on environmental issues submitted through email at email@example.com or mail to the Glendale Unified district office at 223 N. Jackson St.
There are additional opportunities for public input. Once the environmental impact report draft is published with results, it will undergo a 45-day review period and a public meeting will be announced. Comments and responses to concerns will be included in a final report for the district’s board of education to review.