It’s viewed as “another milestone,” summed up South Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Geoff Yantz, pleased that a major reconstruction effort of the local high school’s athletic facilities in now underway.
In the wake of a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) building finished on campus last year and creating a new black box theater replacing the old gymnasium continues at South Pasadena Middle School, work began this week on the newest project in the school district using $98 million bond funds.
The superintendent says there will be a noticeable difference over what is currently in place. “I think it will be far more welcoming – a park-like environment – much more functional, and safer,” shared Yantz, adding, “I think people will really enjoy it. There will be more landscaping integrated into the design. ”
During parts of the day, the facility, like it is today, will be open to the public.
In the most southern part of the project, near the current pool area, will be renovated for ADA purposes. New tennis courts will be installed and accessible ramping on the west side of the tennis courts along with new baseball batting cages are part of the upgrades.
One tennis court will be dropped about 10 feet to become nearly the same height as lower court. “There will be about a two-foot difference, so it will be more integrated,” explained Yantz.
Outdoor basketball courts will be replaced along with backboards, baskets and nets. A cement seating area and landscaping will also enhance the area.
New storage units will be placed west of the tennis courts. A new field house, training and film rooms, and visitor bleachers are part of the effort.
Inside the two gyms, the floors will be resurfaced, new bleachers, locker rooms, team rooms, coaches offices, and heating and air condition systems will be replaced. Backboards will be replaced in older of the two gyms where basketball games and volleyball matches are held, but not the other where the facility is much newer.
Teams, including both boys and girls’ basketball, will now practice and hold games at South Pasadena Middle School over the fall and winter months while construction is underway.
The project, estimated to cost $14 million, is expected to be completed by the end of August 2020.
No changes are earmarked for the track, artificial field and home bleachers, which have all been upgraded in recent years.
Yantz hopes in a year from now when the project is completed motorists and observers will say. “Wow!”