By the time the South City school board meeting began Thursday evening in City Council Chambers, the room was packed with dozens of parents and student athletes in their sports jerseys, who were there to support athletic facilities improvements. Not a seat was vacant, and an entire wall of El Camino High athletes in red uniforms flanked the back of the room.
When the board reached the program agenda item, which was more than halfway through the meeting, an audible sigh of relief came from the crowd, and then a lengthy round of applause and cheers.
Beals Alliance landscape architects presented suggested plans for changes to several schools an extensive improvements to sports facilities at South City and El Camino High Schools.
Among the suggested plans for El Camino High were: 700-person bleachers with additional seating available; new basketball courts; a full-size baseball diamond "so you can have a regulation-size homerun," the presenter said; new soccer, football and track facilities.
Included in South City High's plans were: 1,000-person bleachers; synthetic turf softball and baseball fields, which could also be rented out to bring in revenue; new track, football and soccer facilities; and a new eight-lane pool.
"We don't have all the money to do this right now," said Superintendent Alejandro Hogan. "We will recommend to the board that we only look at Phase I at this time."
Phase I for both high schools includes track and football field improvements, among some other items.
An open community forum to discuss the will take place Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers at 33 Arroyo Drive.