WATSONVILLE — Pajaro Valley’s football and soccer teams all practice on campus, but games are a different venture.
The Grizzlies have had to use other facilities within the Pajaro Valley Unified School District and call them home. Most of the time, they’ve had to play games at Watsonville High school, their rival.
Thanks to voters on Tuesday night, that will soon change.
Measure L, a school bond measure that will bring much-needed funding to schools in the PVUSD, got more than enough approval to pass. It only needed 55 percent of votes and received more than 65 percent.
“I’m very, very proud,” said PVUSD Assistant Superintendent Murry Schekman. “I was very much in the thick of this work to both have our board (of trustees) approve it and to get the community out.”
The bond measure should bring in about $150 million for the district.
While Aptos and Watsonville high schools will receive some athletic upgrades, their Measure L benefits will come in other forms such as technology and building repair.
Pajaro Valley High, however, is getting a big boost, athletics wise.
The school is set to receive, among other benefits, a baseball field and all-weather field that can be used for track, football and soccer.
Both fields will likely be located near the parking lot on the top of the campus.
“Two of the three high schools are in good shape when it comes to athletics, but P.V. High is the school of need, and we’re going to finish that school,” Schekman said. “We’ll clear the field at the top of the school, and we’re going to have a full athletic facility for the kids and community around P.V. High.”
While Schekman didn’t want to put a specific timetable on the project, he said it is likely that the fields will be done within a two-year frame.
“There’s some people here on campus for eight years waiting for this to happen,” said football coach Joe Gregorio. “We’ll finally have home games on campus, and we can have homecoming up here.”
The team’s final home football game this season will be at Aptos High on Saturday against rival Watsonville.
It’s not just the football program that has had to move around.
The soccer teams have used Watsonville and Aptos as home parks, and the baseball team has used Watsonville High for its home games.
Gregorio, in his second year at Pajaro Valley, compared the situation to the one at Alisal High in Salinas. There, the football program turned around in the mid-2000s just as the school received funding to build a new multi-purpose field.
“You give the kids the right tools, and they’ll work hard,” Gregorio said. “This is our home, and it’ll will change the atmosphere around here.”
Schekman, who helped open up Alvarez High in the early 1990s, said he and the rest of the PVUSD leadership will move quickly to get projects started.
“We’re going to hire professionals, and we’re going to keep it local, and we’ll be going to bid very soon,” he said.
For the complete article see the 11-08-2012 issue.
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