Plans to transfer a sum of 16.6 million dollars into the proposed Bonita Vista High (BVH) track and field project were discussed during a facilities sub committee meeting that took place on Nov. 5. The source of said funds can be traced to Bonita Vista Middle (BVM) and even the renovation of BVH’s own 600 buildings; however, before any action is taken the proposition itself will be handed to the Board of Trustees for approval on Nov. 12. The opposing opinions of staff and parents alike at the meeting may have allowed for an eventful discussion; however, the clear benefits of allowing a proposition such as this one to be put into action far outweigh its potential consequences, especially considering the history BVH has with this plan in particular.
Prospective plans and ideas relating to the future renovation of the 55 year old track and field can be traced back to 2014, when plans for an update were approved by the Division of the State Architect (DSA), and were later announced to the public at meeting held around three years later. However, these plans were last updated in February of 2018, and were most likely halted by the collapse of the districts source of funding.
A variation of those plans have now resurfaced, and with a new stable source of funds, both BVH and Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) should approve these plans that have been delayed for far too long and at this point are owed to the residents of BVH. Other schools in the SUHSD district have seen the likes of track renovations such as Otay Ranch High, Olympian High, San Ysidro High and Eastlake High, according to the official SUHSD website. With so many nearby schools receiving updated facilities, the evidence is clear that BVH is getting the short end of the stick in this situation. As such, the situation is only holding the image BVH back as a school but as home to many student athletes who deserve better and could benefit tremendously from the proposal .
For a school that has been around since the 60’s, our facilities are not the only thing that has aged poorly. School spirit is something that BVH seems to struggle with, especially concerning our sports programs. There is essentially no facility to even present as BVH’s own, or show off to other schools during home games, as BVH rents out the Southwestern College field for approximately 5000, according to BVH Principal Ph.D Roman Del Rosario. Having to rent a football field for home games certainly doesn’t benefit the situation, and even with these new plans, that won’t be stopping due to lack of funds for more occupancy space; however, having a facility to practice and even share with BVM would most likely give student athletes a space to comfortably grow in and avoid being embarrassed by when compared with other schools.
According to the National of State High School Associations, “High School [fields] can be a source of community pride along with improving team performance, as well as provide stress relief and revive spirits among athletes”. The same can be said concerning the track portion of the discussed renovations. With plans to incorporate a synthetic nine lane track, this design will prove to be beneficial for the BVH track and field department due to it potentially being CIF eligible. A great sense of student pride for their school could be gained from the proposed proposition, and would also be shared by newcomers from both BVM and other middle schools across the district who could potentially be attracted to BVH due to its appealing facilities.
BVM principal Eduardo Reyes has stated that although the funds may be coming from their wallets, it will ultimately be for the benefit of both parties, as most of those who graduate BVM will likely be attending BVH later that year. Even when looking at schools outside of BVM, BVH renovations can also attract the likes of middle school students looking for a future high school to attend. According to Design Collaborative, “Designing athletic facilities where student athletes can practice, develop into better players, and have a sense of belonging is crucial to not only [student] recruitment but retention”. Attracting the attention of middle school students across the district will not only contribute to the sheer quantity of student attendees, but also host an entirely new audience of students outside of the BVM and BVH community.
The SUHSD Board of Trustees will vote on the movement of funds to begin the process of construction on Nov. 12. However, with the information presented, it seems as though the SUHSD board and BVH officials will both be waving as they pass by a huge chance for a change that has long since been overdue, and even owed to the students at BVH. With one of the most outdated campuses in the district, seizing this window of opportunity will prove that district officials and BVH administrators are taking a step in the right direction.
To read about the opposite opinion, click below: https://bonitavistacrusader.org/2272/opinion/bvh-needs-to-support-students-before-athletes/