Construction of the new pool at Romona High School.
Source: Ramona Aquatics
Includes excerpts from the August 11, 2012 article from the Press Enterprise by Dayna Straehley.
Four Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) high schools – Poly, North, Ramona and Arlington – have begun major improvements to their athletic facilities this summer. The upgrades are greatly needed as there have been no renovations made since the schools were originally built, which was in the late 1950s for Ramona High, in the mid-’60s for North and Poly, and in the early ’70s for Arlington.
The high schools are receiving more than $44 million in upgrades, paid mostly with Measure B bond money that Riverside voters approved in 2001 for school construction projects, which cannot be used for salaries or other operating costs. Additional funding to augment the cost of the projects is coming from redevelopment money and community development block grants from the City of Riverside and some other sources.
All of the schools are getting artificial turf football fields where freshman and junior varsity teams can compete. Teams, marching bands and other student groups can practice on the artificial turf all day, all year, without tearing it up like natural grass, said Assistant Superintendent Kirk Lewis.
Poly High School
Poly High is getting the biggest pool, 50 meters, with solar heat from the roof of a shade structure, with a wave design, over the planned bleachers.
“The solar is a good deal,” said Kevin Hauser, Assistant Director of facilities projects for Riverside Unified School District. “It pays for itself very quickly.”
The $13.6 million project also includes locker rooms, restrooms and a snack bar next to the pool. A new softball dugout and team room will be built next to the new softball field. A football practice field with artificial turf and a rubberized track is being graded.
Construction at Poly started in April 2012 and is scheduled for completion in May 2013.
North High School
North High School broke ground on the improvements July 25. Construction workers quickly demolished the old pool, track, restrooms, bleachers, basketball courts and football field.
The $13.6 million project includes a new football stadium with a nine-lane rubberized all-weather track and press box. The old pool will be replaced with a new 25-yard by 30-meter pool. The school has six new tennis courts and two more will be built, finished with a playing surface in U.S. Open Blue, Hauser said.
The facilities are to be completed by next July 2013.
Ramona High School
The new 25-yard by 30-meter pool at Ramona High will be ready in mid-October, Hauser said. That pool also will have solar heat installed on top of the shade structure over future bleachers. Like the other pools, Ramona’s pool deck will be wide enough for parents to set up portable shade canopies while they watch their sons’ or daughters’ swim meets or water polo matches.
Eight new tennis courts are also being built at Ramona. The $5 million project began in March 2012 and is to be completed in November 2012.
The district stadium at Ramona High was done in 2010, as were rebuilt fields for baseball, softball and physical education.
Arlington High School
Lush green new grass is growing in the summer heat on new baseball, softball and junior varsity and physical education fields at Arlington High.
“This used to be a wasteland out there, a nasty dirt lot,” Hauser said, referring to a 7-acre neglected agricultural department area with a lean-to shed. The agriculture department ended in 2003.
The $12 million, 13-month project also includes dugouts, a concession stand, ticket booth, restrooms and walkways. All the athletic fields were redesigned to take advantage of the additional space, with storm-water retention areas in unused corners, Hauser said.
Separate deluxe batting cages for baseball and softball will be installed soon, Lewis said.
Work began last January 2011 and is to be finished in February 2013.
In a news release from RUSD, Board of Education President Gayle Cloud said she hopes the new facilities will encourage even more world-class athleticism. “If our old facilities produced Olympic champions, think about the future possibilities,” Cloud said.
Riverside is a location of choice for high quality education and the improvements to RUSD’s athletics facilities will help Riverside’s schools continue to be leaders in developing world-class athletes who excel both on the field and in the classroom.
Read the full article from the Press Enterprise.