Measure spawns wish list

GLENDALE — Hoover High School wants a new synthetic grass athletic field, similar to the ones at Glendale and Crescenta Valley.

Glendale needs upgrades to its baseball and softball fields.

Crescenta Valley desires new lights and bleachers for the school's football/soccer field, in addition to a refurbished swimming pool that would meet CIF standards for playoff matches.

All three schools have a "wish list" of projects they hope to begin after the passage of Measure S, a $270-million bond measure that was passed on the April 5 ballot by Glendale voters. The bond garnered 69% of the yes vote, well above the 55% needed to pass.

Weeks after the passage, Hoover, Glendale, and CV are eager to begin work on projects to improve not only their athletics but also other projects. Potential bond-funded projects include major renovations and technology updates in the classroom. The money is also likely to be used to repair walls, roofs and floor cover coverings, in addition to updating science, career and technical labs.

Hoover aspires to upgrade its field.

"With Hoover, the main thing we want is to get the field," Hoover Principal Jennifer Earl said. "When you drive along Olmsted and look down at Hoover, the state of the field, despite the best efforts, does not represent the high standards held inside the buildings on campus. The Hoover community deserves to be represented appropriately."

Glendale Unified school board member Christine Walters said there are a number of members of the community who have sought to improve Hoover's field for "quite some time."

"It will literally help level the playing field between our schools in athletics," Walters said. "I think it will also show that as a district we value health and physical activity when we are willing to invest in our athletic facilities."

Glendale Unified school board member Mary Boger, who won reelection on April 5, championed for a new field for the Tornadoes during her campaign.

"I am so very happy to know that Hoover High School will now have the same state of the art track and field from which Glendale and Crescenta Valley High School students have benefited," said Boger, a Hoover High graduate. "It has been a source of frustration to me that not all of our students were enjoying the same quality of facilities."

In 2006, Glendale installed a $1.7 million field and Crescenta Valley opened a $1.8 million field.

Earl believes the field might be ready in two years and acknowledged additional fundraising may be needed.

"I would love the class of 2013 to graduate on the field and I would love the class of 2014 to play on the field," said Earl, who also mentioned other possible projects that include Hoover's wish to restore its weight room and repair pipes underneath the cafeteria that affect the gymnasium's cooling system.

Glendale has a list of needs that might be long overdue for fixing, as well.

"Nothing has really been done to the athletics, meaning gym, the [baseball and softball] fields, locker room," said Glendale Principal Deb Rinder, who graduated with Walters from Glendale High in 1982, when the duo helped the Nitros win softball and basketball league championships. "Those areas have not been touched. I would hope, from an athletic standpoint, Measure S would assist with that."

Rinder said Glendale might have its gymnasium floor refurbished this summer. In the long run, she's looking for Glendale to improve its baseball and softball fields, and its boys' and girls' locker rooms, in addition to expanding its pool to meet postseason standards for water polo. Playoff matches require that the distance from goal line to goal line should be 75 feet, the width should be no less than 45 feet and no more than 66 feet and the depth should be at least 6 ½ feet.

"I can speak after coaching water polo and swimming that [expanding] the pool is long overdue," Glendale co-athletic director Pat Lancaster said. "The good news is we have the space to do it. It was built in 1956 and it doesn't meet any of the standards. If it was a three-strike rule, it would have struck out."

Rinder and Lancaster have seen Hoover install new locker rooms, and want the same at Glendale.

"At Hoover, when they did the construction, they did all of the locker rooms," Rinder said. "Believe me, I worked at Hoover [as a teacher and assistant principal from 1989-1997] when it was the old way, and they needed to. They didn't touch ours."

Glendale is also working with the city to renovate its tennis courts.

"We're going into partnership with the city of Glendale, they're going to do the lights, tennis courts, fencing and actually add a bathroom," Rinder said. "It is supposed to take place this summer. The tennis courts, in partnership with the city of Glendale, are in the process of being renovated and we're excited about that partnership and the improvements for our school, and [they are] equally as important for our community."

The softball field has a draining problem, according to Lancaster.

"I know the draining is not good," he said. "Whenever we have a big storm, it is Lake Glendale in center field."

Dr. Michele Doll, Crescenta Valley's principal, is thrilled for the opportunity to make improvements to the athletic department, but she said her school's top priorities are infrastructure and technology enhancements.

She said there isn't a timetable for installing new lights or bleachers, but those projects will be in the discussions for how to improve CV.

"We're excited and thrilled that Measure S passed," Doll said. "It's good for our school, our students and our community."

Bleachers and lights might give the Falcons a home field advantage for the football season, said CV boys athletic director David Mendoza. CV, Glendale and Hoover each play home games at Glendale High's Moyse Field.

"The opportunity to have a home field and the community to be able to come to a home [football] game because we have bleachers, it would be a tremendous home-field advantage," Mendoza said. "It would be tremendous for the community and the kids. The community would love nothing more than to play football games on our home field. It is a beautiful field with a beautiful backdrop. It's just missing bleachers to make it a great place."

The CV water polo and swimming programs might also have an advantage with an expanded pool. The programs might also save money.

For water polo playoff matches, the Falcons rent Pasadena City College's pool, which meets CIF standards. CV boys' water polo Coach Jan Sakonju said the Falcons pay approximately $350 to rent the pool and about $300 for buses.

"One of the reasons we play at PCC against our opponents during the regular season is that there is not a shock of playing in a larger pool in the playoffs," Sakonju said. "For years and years, we would go to playoffs, and you had to learn to make the adjustment to not playing at CV. The pool is too short, too shallow and too narrow. It's an illegal pool for all three reasons."

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