Funding to yield new athletic field, track at McClatchy High – Sacramento Bee

The days of muddy and decrepit fields at McClatchy High School will be no more.

This week, the Sacramento City Unified School District board approved just more than $4.5 million in funding to install a synthetic field and track at C.K. McClatchy High School. The renovation will begin this summer and will conclude in October.

The funding draws from two different sources: $2 million from the CKM Field allocation, part of a $10 million dollar grant split between five local schools and $2.5 million from the Core Academic and Repair Allocation grant, according to Alex Barrios, district spokesman.

“The existing conditions were outdated and dangerous,” said Brian Nelson, a board member of Restore the Roar, a booster club that fought for the renovations. “The fields were in such a condition that they were a liability.”

According to Bob Sertich, one of the founders of Restore the Roar, the school’s students and student-athletes suffered from the poor conditions. With the fields often flooded, students could not go outside during physical education. The conditions only allowed for five home games combined between the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams and prevented the track team from hosting meets. At times, students had to leave class early to attend sporting events at other schools.

“It’s going to be better for the kids,” Sertich said of the improvements. “We’re happy the district voted to do this.”

To Nelson, the decision to begin construction this summer made sense as the school had planned to close the campus for previously scheduled work. The McClatchy website indicates the campus will be closed from June 16 to Aug. 14.

While Restore the Roar appreciates the district’s response to the community’s pleas for a new field, they say that they are still pushing for similar projects at other schools, including Hiram Johnson High School.

“There’s definitely a need there,” Barrios said. “We know that.”

Still, those who have participated in the process are happy with how it turned out for McClatchy.

“I think it’s quite a big milestone,” said Denis Ishisaka, president of Restore the Roar. “I think students and parents and alumni are going to be even more proud of its alma mater, and I think the surrounding community will be pleased, too.”

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