Point Loma High Phase I remodel approval at school board
by SCOTT HOPKINS
Published - 03/17/16 - 07:43 PM | 9022 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An artist’s rendering of the school after the ‘PLHS Whole-Site Modernization and Athletic Facilities Upgrade Project’ is complete.
An artist’s rendering of the school after the ‘PLHS Whole-Site Modernization and Athletic Facilities Upgrade Project’ is complete.
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Administrators and staff members at Point Loma High School are hoping for approval of the long-awaited first phase of a proposed modernization of the 91-year-old school. The San Diego Unified School District board will list adoption of a completed Environmental Impact Report on its April 26 agenda, the culmination of several years of community meetings and input characterized by strong opposition from some community members to proposed improvements and installation of night lighting at Pete Ross Stadium on the campus.

The meeting will be held at 5 p.m. at the Eugene Brucker Education Center Auditorium, 4100 Normal St.

Known as the "PLHS Whole-Site Modernization and Athletic Facilities Upgrade Project," the first phase of planned long-range improvements also includes:

- Demolition of the existing media center/classroom building, known as the 800 building, a round two-story structure with oddly shaped classrooms and no restrooms;

- Construction of a new three-story building, containing a new media center and 20 new classrooms that meet future standards;

- Renovation of the current 200 and 300 buildings;

- Construction of new security features that will allow only one path of access to the campus during school hours;

- A new arched facade along Chatsworth Boulevard, requested by community members, that will provide some connection to the school's beloved original Spanish design;

- Construction of "turnouts" for school buses to leave more space for vehicles passing in front of the campus;

- Construction of a 150-square-foot main distribution building for better distribution of technology; and

- Installation of overall security improvements.

While opponents of the Athletic Facilities Upgrade component of the project have resumed a letter-writing campaign, members of Point Loma Cluster Schools group (pointlomacluster.com), which represents all Peninsula public schools, is hoping that community input to board members reflects the actual opinions of all community members.

In a recent email newsletter, the group asked those supporting the upgrades to write to Michael McQuary, school district board president and trustee for the Peninsula area, at mmcquary@sandi.net.

In addition to night lighting, the athletic field upgrades include Americans With Disabilities Act upgrades to existing concrete bleachers and other areas of the facility.

Repairs to existing bleachers;

- Construction of a press box and elevator onto the existing bleachers;

- Construction of bleachers on the visitors side of the field with a restrooms/concessions building and ticket office; and

- Installation of a new public address system.

In September of 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a "Determination of No Hazard To Air Navigation" letter, and in November of 2015, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority adopted a resolution determining that the project is consistent with the goals of the San Diego International Airport.

To help reassure lighting opponents, school officials and community groups worked to develop a "Field Use Policy for Point Loma High School" to address many issues, including the needs and concerns of surrounding neighbors and the community. The policy was adopted by the school district board in July of 2014 and can be changed only by board action.

Stadium lighting is designed primarily to allow more PLHS teams to practice in the limited space available on campus. The policy specifies:

- No more than 18 night events plus playoffs can be held per year;

- Lights will be turned off by 10:30 p.m.;

- Lights will be turned off by 7:30 p.m. on all other nights;

- Use of the public address system is prohibited at practices; and

- Noisemaking devices are prohibited at all times.

Because PLHS officials plan to use all their allotted 18 night events, it is hoped the multiple-field project, also lighted, currently under construction at Correia Middle School, will provide space for all requested field rentals on the Peninsula.

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