When you turn 113 years old and showing signs of age, well, a facelift is in order.
That’s exactly what South Pasadena Unified School District officials have decided to do with the athletic department at the local high school, using a portion of a $98 million bond measure, to give it a new, refreshed look.
It’s just another effort in putting a new face on the school, enjoying a long overdue makeover following its establishment in 1906. Earlier this year, South Pasadena High opened the doors to a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) building that has earned high praise from students, teachers and community members.
Over at the nearby middle school, construction in underway on a re-adaptive use of the old gymnasium, a year-long transformation project using Measure SP funds that will turn the building into a showcase for the arts, along with a black box theater and computer lab.
While work on the construction is underway, district officials and Board of Education members are anticipating the next use of bond money, a major effort to improve the athletic facilities at South Pasadena High School. Groundbreaking is scheduled for November, calling for improvements to the school’s two gymnasiums, and redesign of the area from the stadium to the pool and baseball field. New outdoor basketball courts, tennis courts, visitor bleachers, and a new field house ( featuring a training, film room and storage) are also in the plans.
“It will definitely take everything to a new level when it’s completed,” noted South Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Geoff Yantz, adding that the experience for student-athletes and fans will be vastly improved by the changes.
The two gyms, said Yantz, will be a key focus, explaining most of the work will be done on the older, or what he calls the “main gym,” where the entire floor and bleachers will be replaced, new baskets and backboards installed, the lobby renovated, and restrooms and outside ticket booth replaced. In addition, the locker rooms will be gutted, restored, and new team rooms will be built.
Floors of the newer gym on the north side will be sanded, refinished and restripped, and air conditioning units will be added. “Basically, everything else stays the same,” noted the Yantz.
Once the project is complete, he said the athletic facility will “be more inviting, functional for our students, as well as the community.”
No changes are earmarked for the track, artificial field and home bleachers, which have all been upgraded in recent years.
During construction on the high school gyms, South Pasadena High teams will play their games at the nearby middle school. Outdoor contests won’t be affected during the two-year construction phase. Bungalows on the SPHS campus will be modified to use as locker rooms, coaching offices, storage, and a training room.
“We just think it’s going to be great when it’s all finished,” said Yantz, looking to a fall of 2020 opening. “We think it’s going to be will received.”