Peninsula High School's football field will soon get a new surface thanks, in part, to the coronavirus lockdown.
The Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District unanimously approved at its Tuesday night's meeting laying an artificial turf surface at Peninsula High School.
"We're trying to take advantage of this timeframe of having no kids on campus," PVPUSD President Suzanne Seymour said. "The Peninsula football field has needed to be redone and turfed for years, and this turned out to be good timing."
The district has set aside $1 million for this project, and local supporters are hopeful a fundraising campaign will supplement.
The Peninsula Athletic Booster Club plans to launch a website seeking donations this week, said Seymour, to raise money for unanticipated expenses.
"We've done a lot of things in Palos Verdes with parents pulling together, and the board usually doesn't have enough money on our own," Seymour said.
Seymour knows the needs of the Peninsula football field. Her youngest son, Luke, graduated in 2019 and played football for the Panthers.
"There's a need for new bleachers, and there isn't even a press box," Seymour said. "We re-did the track about four years ago, and it was a very needed improvement. Hopefully the website will generate a lot of parent support, as well as other support, for our student-athletes."
As it stands, the timetable to have the project completed is January 1, but that could change based on the bids that come back to the district. Those bids will be talked about, and voted on, during the board's Oct. 14 meeting.
"The benefit of the way we're doing this is many of these companies don't have a lot of work, and usually this isn't the timeline companies put in turf fields," Seymour said. "We wouldn't be doing this if it was a typical year, and it makes sense to get it done before we start sports."
The board is now awaiting the company who will lay the turf, having already acquired approval from the Division of the State Architect.
"Getting the turf manufactured in time was important, and we'll come back in a few weeks and discuss the second part, which is construction," Seymour said. "With this being the first time we're laying turf at Peninsula, it's a big contract. It all hinges on bids that come back, cost and timeline."
With an already compressed athletic schedule when sports are presumed to return in January, Seymour knows if the field is not replaced, it would create a lot of headaches for not only athletics at Peninsula, but at Palos Verdes High as well.
"None of us know what is going to happen with COVID, but if it does, and we have sports, any rain or inclement weather will make the schedule tougher," Seymour said. "In the past, when fields have been unusable, we've had to reschedule games at PV, and then it's harder for PV, because they have very little practice space."
The field at Palos Verdes High received new turf in 2017.
It's not just Peninsula athletics that utilize the Rolling Hills Estates field, it's local programs as well.
"Another turf field would be great for our community, because the fields are used by our communities and other athletes, including Pop Warner and AYSO, and it will be another opportunity to have a nice field because after the football season, the field is destroyed," Seymour said.
"I'm glad we're able to get it done."