Mason Arnold | Staff Writer
Within the next decade, Livermore High School is set to receive a complete refurbishing of current athletic facilities on campus.
The renovations will be funded by Measure J, which passed in June of 2016. The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District has placed the priority for the school’s renovations on the aged sports facilities.
The first remodeling project came in the summer of 2016, with the replacement of the football stadium’s turf playing surface.This project would prove to be only the first step set forth by LVJUSD for LHS, with the revamping of the main gym, pool, bleachers, and track planned for completion within the next few years.
LHS Athletic Director and Teacher, James Petersdorf, said, “Over the next four years, our athletic facilities will have a complete transformation. We should have one of the premier facilities in the East Bay.”
The new turf surface the football stadium received was what Petersdorf described as the first step in “stage one” of the renovations; up next, the bleachers. Beginning at the start of this coming summer, the old wooden bleachers that generations of LHS students and fans have come to love and hate, will be ripped out and replaced with brand new metal bleachers.
According to Petersdorf, the seating area will still hold the same number of fans, but will be steeper, allowing for easier viewing. Along with these better seating conditions will be a new press box, which will better house our scorekeepers and game-clock personnel.
Also part of stage one is the remodeling of the track. Presently, the track has only six lanes, which is not regulation size in high school. Not only that, but the running surface is extremely old and worn out, which could prove dangerous and irritating for LHS track athletes. These issues will both be taken care of with the addition of two more running lanes, to reach the regulation size of eight lanes, as well as with the resurfacing of the entire track.
Both the bleachers and track projects are expected to be completed by the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.
Stage two on the list of renovations will include the main gym and the pool. Starting with the main gym, the build will begin after the school receives approval from the state. The district is hoping to break ground this next school year.
What is known right now is the new gym will be located on the site of the blacktop basketball courts. In addition, the weight room being used on campus right now will be demolished, and the new gym will incorporate both a new weight room and new locker room.
The main gym being used right now is decades old, and although it is not as much a cause for complaint as some other facilities, the gym still needs to be replaced. Student athlete Cooper Gamble (grade 10) said that the gym being used right now does not necessarily have anything wrong with it, but that nearly everything in it is outdated. He noted that the locker room and the gym bathrooms are not in the best shape, and are in need of an upgrade. The new gym is planned to be completed by the 2021-2022 school year.
Starting around the same time as the main gym project wraps up will be the building of a new pool.This new facility will be located on the site of the presently used main gym after demolition.
The current pool in place has been a cause for complaint for the last several years amongst many watersport athletes. One of these athletes includes Megan Johnston (grade 12). She said that the pool’s chlorine pump and heater continuously fail, causing many practice cancellations throughout the year. On top of that, the pool isn’t even large enough to host water polo games or swim meets due to regulations.
These conditions force the water polo and swim teams to practice in unrealistic situations, giving them a huge disadvantage when it comes to game time. Fortunately, the new pool will be state-of-the-art when it is finished, allowing our watersport athletes to have consistent practice. It is unknown when the project will break ground, but is expected to start soon after the main gym demolition.
Petersdorf said the companies that will be heading all of these projects include Verde Design and Deems Lewis McKinley Architecture. Verde Design will be taking on the bleacher and track projects, while DLM Architecture will be working on the new gym architecture. It is unknown who will be completing the pool renovation at this time.