LCUSD Board sidelines decision on LCHS field contract

The La Cañada school board delayed making a decision Tuesday on a proposed amendment to an existing joint-use contract between the district, La Cañada High School Boosters Club and the Arroyo United Foundation for La Cañada High School’s football/soccer field after the Foundation failed to hold up its part of the bargain.

The change would have allowed the Boosters to drop out of the agreement, which was established in 2004 and scheduled to run to 2018, after paying the district $25,000. It would also transfer rights to use of the field from the Arroyo United Foundation to the Los Angeles Fútbol Club Foundation, the new name adopted by Arroyo.

Originally, the proposed amendment to the contract wasn’t up for discussion. It first appeared in the meeting's consent agenda, but school board member Cindy Wilcox requested it be pulled out for review.

The Los Angeles Fútbol Club would also be required to pay $121,500 by Dec. 31, 2017 in annual payments of $20,250, according to the updated contract.

But Arroyo United Foundation and Boosters aren’t current on their scheduled annual payments of $8,000 and $5,000, respectively.

“The only entity that has been funding the account as determined is the district,” said Supt. Jim Stratton. To date, a total of $58,869 has been contributed by the district for maintaining the field.

If approved, the amended contract would allow the district to void the agreement if the Los Angeles Fútbol Club doesn’t keep up with its payments.

F.C. Golden State soccer club also submitted an alternative joint-use agreement for use of the field to the board. F.C. Golden State would pay $216,000 by 2017 (in annual payments of $36,000) while using the facility less frequently than the Fútbol Club has.

“I don’t know what to do, personally,” school board member Joel Peterson said. “On one hand, we have a party that we’ve been working with and they haven’t met certain obligations, and now they’re telling us they want to make amendments…On the other hand, we now have a very generous proposal from another entity.”

F.C. Golden State would also give $50,000 up front to replace the field’s artificial turf, which will cost an estimated $382,000 and needs to be done in the next three to four years.

Governing Board President Susan Boyd said she wants to include two more items in the Fútbol Club’s contract—reduced usage of the field and covering electricity costs to light the field at night.

The board delayed a decision until staff have discussed those two additional changes to the agreement with the Fútbol Club. The revised contract will appear before the Governing Board at its next meeting on April 19 at 7 p.m. in the district’s round building, located at 4490 Cornishon Ave.

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