PaliHi Track and Field Renovations Put on Hold

By Laurel Busby
Staff Writer

PaliHi Director of Development Michael Rawson updated the school’s board on May 16 about planned summer renovations of the track and field.

“We’re actively pursuing LAUSD approval,” said Rawson of his work with Interim Director of Operations Don Parcell and Operations Assistant Liaison Rocky Montz, who is also a board member. “It looks promising, but we can’t make any guarantees.”

After the meeting, Rawson told the Palisades News that he hoped the approval would come by June 6 or June 13. If so, the project, which is needed for safety reasons, would be put out for bid for one week, and demolition of the old field would then begin immediately upon approval of the bid.

Runners line up at one of the few track meets held at Palisades High this season. The track and the playing field ust be replaced this summer because surfaces are hard as rock, with divots everywhere. According to Penn State’s Center for Sports Surface Research, GMAX testing measures how many G’s of force a field can absorb upon impact, and how many are returned to the athlete. A high GMAX test value means the field is absorbing less impact, and returning more force to the player, resulting in a potentially dangerous situation that could cause injuries and concussions. Photo: Lesly Hall Photography

Runners line up at one of the few track meets held at Palisades High this season. The track and the playing field ust be replaced this summer because surfaces are hard as rock, with divots everywhere. According to Penn State’s Center for Sports Surface Research, GMAX testing measures how many G’s of force a field can absorb upon impact, and how many are returned to the athlete. A high GMAX test value means the field is absorbing less impact, and returning more force to the player, resulting in a potentially dangerous situation that could cause injuries and concussions. Photo: Lesly Hall Photography

Before Director of Operations Dave Riccardi left the school, the project had been scheduled to start immediately after the June 8 graduation and end before football season started.

However, Rawson estimated that now construction would still be underway through at least the first home football game.

Board member Dara Williams asked him where the team would play instead. SMC was one possibility that he suggested, and Montz added that Pali could play home games as away games until the field was available.

There would be “lost revenues associated with” not using the home field, Rawson told the board. He also noted that the changes “might impact part of the football season, but hopefully not all of it.”

As of June 12, Rawson said the school was still awaiting LAUSD approval for the project.

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