WATSONVILLE—The Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved plans for a new athletic field at E.A. Hall Middle School, a $1.9 million project approved by the community in August.
The project will be the last of the school’s funds from Measure L, a $150 million bond passed by voters in 2012 to fund construction, repair and maintenance projects throughout the district.
The vote Wednesday was the final step in the approval process.
It started on Aug. 27, when community members overwhelmingly chose the synthetic turf field with no track over two other choices. This included classroom renovations and a natural grass field with a track.
The E.A. Hall School Site Council approved the project on Oct. 22, and the PVUSD Citizen Bond Oversight Committee approved it on Oct. 30.
The project will begin immediately, said PVUSD Chief Business Officer Joe Dominguez.
“This is a project we will not have to wait for summer,” Dominguez said. “We will implement it as soon as possible”
The facilities team was planning on meeting with architects on Thursday to begin developing the plans, a process Dominguez estimated will take about six months.
Dominguez said that the district is considering alternatives to a track around the field, maybe a non-rubberized walking track.
The field comes after years of students playing on a field so heavily pock-marked with gopher holes that coaches say students are injured weekly.
“This has been a long time in the making,” trustee Daniel Dodge Jr. said, adding that former trustee Willie Yahiro championed the project.
The trustees also heard a report of other recently completed Measure L projects, a $28.9 million list that can be found in its entirety at www.bit.ly/32Ojtba.
This included the new playing field at Pajaro Valley High School, which is estimated to be finished by fall 2020.
Workers have upgraded the quad at Aptos High School, a walking track at Bradley Elementary and an upgrade to the administrative office at Mar Vista Elementary.
Calabasas and Ann Soldo elementary schools got a paint job, while Lakeview Middle School got a multi-use pavilion.
Dominguez also told the trustees that the bond has $25 million leftover and that 24 schools still have balances from their share of the bond.
Trustee Georgia Acosta said she has received calls from several constituents who have heard rumors the district plans to ask voters to approve a new bond measure on the November 2020 ballot.
That rumor is not true, Dominguez said.
PVUSD Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez said such a bond would be unlikely to pass in the upcoming election cycle.