Culver City Observer -

Culver Athletic Facilities Get Major Upgrade

Coaches Thrilled with Progress so Far


January 8, 2015

Fred Altieri

By Fred Altieri

Sports Reporter

The students and athletes at Culver City High are about to enjoy the benefits of the school's current renovation and installation projects as the final stages of the older athletic fields and a new multi-purpose game and practice field are completed in early 2015.

This is the next major phase of infrastructure upgrades to the athletic program's facilities that began last year with the unveiling of Jerry Chabola stadium, the playing field and track complex.

Athletic Director Tom Salter gave an overview of the progress: "They laid the sod down on the softball and baseball fields. But the rain pushed us back a bit and delayed the project about a month. It takes about two months before it's ready to play on. The first games are in March so hopefully everything will be ready to go in late February.

"The synthetic turf field, the soccer /lacrosse field will be up also. We've had a little delay in that and hopefully it will be ready in early March. That's going to be a regular soccer and lacrosse field with the respective lines on it."

Head baseball coach Rick Prieto also observed the recent work on the baseball turf, a field which he has personally maintained for more than 20 years: "The school has renovated the whole landscape of our infield and outfield. They came in and skinned all of the old grass off. They also roto-tilled, graded, rolled and leveled it.

"They brought in brand new sod and as recent as last week they rolled the last section in. So it's just a matter of time now that it starts to root into the base of the landscaping dirt. I think we'll be able to get on it in six to eight weeks."

Prieto on the other baseball upgrades: "They are going to demolish the two current batting cages and build three brand new ones. We're basically looking at demolition, framing, laying out the concrete, putting up the posts, the nets and ready to go. To me that's a lot easier than what they've done on the fields."

Prieto recalled the initial upgrade to the baseball park last spring: "We've had the scoreboard donated this past season by Grey Block Pizza that was an unbelievable donation and generous gift to the program. But now with the visible effects of the field you're looking at probably one of the nicest looking high school facilities that you're going to find in the South Bay, Westside and even into the valley. Overall it's something that's really special."

Salter was excited about the softball upgrades as well: "The softball program having a stadium of their own, having an outfield fence and a side fence all the way around is going to make it big. They've had to play without a fence for so long. They're really looking forward to having their own home run fence with a scoreboard."

Head softball coach John Sargent was equally impressed: "It's a great day for the girls softball program and the softball girls. It's something that I've wished upon for many years and it's now coming to fruition. I think it's a great facility in the making. It's something that the girls should be proud of.

"We have the outfield fence and we'll definitely see our girls hit some home runs out of there. The addition of the scoreboard is going to make the softball field even more attractive because now we have everything that pertains to the game of softball as there will also be a batting cage and a pitching area."

Sargent sees other benefits: "Before when we played on an open field it was there for anyone to use when we weren't using it. With all the pounding of the field it became uneven. It was a hazard in some cases but this here is a very good deal for the girls. With the enclosed field we can supervise it more.

"Anytime you have something new people want to come out and just see the facility. If they're out there watching softball hopefully some of the young ladies will sign up and become a part of it. I'm so glad it was built as an on-campus facility."

Salter on the purpose and value of the multi-use practice field installation: "All the P.E. classes will be on the synthetic practice field hopefully in early March. They use the main field right now: Jerry Chabola Stadium. But now we'll have a lot more room for the P.E. classes."

Salter continued: "We'll use it for practices for all the teams. When you talk about football, soccer and lacrosse, all those playing field sports will have the field to practice and to play games on.

Fred Altieri

"Hopefully the girls soccer games will be played there this year. We're going to get a scoreboard up there and bleachers. We'll probably have lower level soccer games and girl lacrosse games there this year also. It definitely was needed and it's going to be a great addition to the facilities at Culver City High"

Salter concluded: "The district has been working hard and doing a lot of facility upgrades in all the schools. This was in the plans for a long time. It was just time to do it. It's going to not only benefit the student/athletes at Culver City but all of the students.

"We're just very lucky and thankful that these things are getting done. It's going to make a huge improvement to the facilities and athletic fields at Culver City. And the kids love playing on it. It makes a big difference."


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