The wall, approximately 20 feet high and over 100 feet in length, was built in 1960, according to Kelly Lowry, PLHS vice-principal, whose responsibilities include the physical structures on campus.
School district personnel have erected a temporary chain link fence away from the wall to keep students and others out of harm's way but causing another problem. They also dug holes in the brand new track to put in support beams to hold the wall in place.
With the fence covering most of the school's track lanes, the school's track and field teams will not be able to practice in the stadium nor will PLHS be able to host any meets during the spring sports season which is scheduled to begin in early March. These teams have more members than any other at the school.
"We are reaching out to some of our other colleagues around the district to see if we can share their facilities for the track team's practices and meets," Lowry said.
The wall, constructed of large pieces of wood held in place by steel beams, separated at its north end where a water pipe can be seen behind the dislodged wall.
"I've been told these types of walls have a lifespan of 50 years," Lowry said, "so this one made it nearly 60."
Lowry says he has heard estimates of six months needed to replace the wall although PLHS administrators have not yet met with San Diego Unified School District's Physical Plant Operations team. The district will cover the cost of a new wall, Lowry added.
It is believed a temporary brace will be installed soon, Lowry noted, to stop the wall from further separating from its backing. Also, the school district will be installing fencing to discourage spectators from watching events from the vacant lot above the field's east end.