Construction begins on PLHS stadium upgrades
by SCOTT HOPKINS
Published - 10/25/16 - 03:06 PM | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Construction has begun on the long-awaited and controversial stadium lights at Point Loma High School.

Crews located trailers and other equipment on the school grounds as the first phase of a three-phase stadium upgrade project project that addresses only the lighting and public address systems with other upgrades to come in future years.

In a letter from the San Diego Unified School District sent to the school's parents, neighbors, students and staff dated Oct. 7, Don Webb, director of construction management, gave this schedule for the current project:

- Phase One will involve cutting and trenching for a new underground conduit and construction of an electronic transformer adjacent to current outdoor basketball courts. This work should not affect classroom instruction, Webb noted, and students will have continual use of the track and field during this time.

- Phase Two will include soil drilling, foundation preparation and hoisting of the new stadium light poles above the surface of Bennie Edens Field. A crane will be moved onto the field at the end of winter break, closing the field for construction from Nov. 28 to Jan. 3.

- Phase Three will occur in the existing grandstand area following the start of winter break and will include the installation of the public address system and grandstand lighting. Brief periods of jackhammering and drilling of concrete will occur during regular weekday hours.

Finally, Webb's letter said, "The project will culminate with testing and adjustments of the lighting and sound systems to ensure adherence to the established environmental parameters."

Expected completion of these aspects of stadium improvements is spring 2017.

"I am very excited for the students, staff, families and fans of Point Loma High School," said Alexandra Van Heuven, PLHS athletic director. "I'm grateful that our current and future Pointers will have the same opportunities as other students in the district."

Van Heuven said she expects the project to run smoothly, with minimal disruption to planned practice times and space for winter sports teams. It appears one or two girls soccer games may have to be rescheduled, she said.

Webb's letter also said, "Our contractors are doing their best to limit noise, dust and disruptions associated with this project. However, construction is, by nature, a disruption we tolerate to improve school facilities for the future and we appreciate your patience during the construction."

Other phases in future years will involve addition of a new grandstand on the north side of the field with capacity for 500 people along with an adjacent restroom and concession building for event guests.

Also planned is a press box atop the current home stands and elevator access for handicapped persons.

Webb's included a phone number (619-725-5588) and e-mail address (SDUSDFacilitiesInfo@sandi.net) for persons with questions or concerns. He noted these will be monitored during workdays and messages forwarded to the appropriate person.

At last week's Peninsula Community Planning Board meeting, David Dick, the group's secretary, presented an action item asking the group to send a letter to Mayor Faulconer, Council Member Lorie Zapf and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith calling for the city to challenge San Diego Unified School District's exemption from city zoning and land use ordinances for the stadium expansion project.
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