BVH administration hits the ground running

Track and field renovations continue amidst pandemic


Provided by Roman Del Rosario Ed.D

The renovation plans for the BVH stadium, which depict additions such as a turf field, rubberized surfacing for the track and expanded bleachers.

Madison Geering, Editor-in-Chief

While students continue to work at home through distance learning, the Bonita Vista High (BVH) track and field is being prepared for a major makeover after 54 years.

On Nov. 12, 2019, the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) Board of Trustees voted unanimously to renovate BVH’s track and field using funds from Proposition O and the Mello-Roos Fund. Over a year later, progress continues for this project to be completed with little interruption from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

An environmental impact study has been conducted to approve the project, which allowed the team in charge, led by SUHSD Director of Planning and Construction Janea Quirk to move forward with contracting an architect. Lord Architecture Inc. will be the design team along with Kitchell Corporation as the construction manager for the new track and field. The contractor will be determined after the completion of the public bidding process. Although the team hopes to send their construction plans to the Division of State Architects for approval in Jan. of 2021, there is no set timeline for the project until construction formally begins. 

“The reason why it’s difficult [to outline a timeline] is because there are so many variables and contingencies that are outside the realm of our control,” BVH Principal Roman Del Rosario, Ed.D., said. “As a result of being conducted by an outside party, these types of processes could really drag out or they could go faster.”

The new track and field that was proposed will replace the current track consisting of a dirt, grass field and old wooden bleachers with a turf field, rubberized surfacing for the track and expanded bleachers.

“[Our hope is] for students to experience great success, develop memories that last a lifetime and to cultivate opportunities and community [with these new renovations],” Quirk said.

Del Rosario sees the project not only as a form of campus beautification, but also as a source of pride for the Barons. Out of 12 comprehensive high schools in SUHSD, BVH is the only campus without its own track and field stadium.

“BVH is a school with such a distinct history characterized by a legacy of excellence,” Del Rosario said. “I grew up in this community, and for decades and decades, Bonita has this reputation of distinguishing itself in so many ways. Juxtaposed with [that success], there is a cognitive dissonance that people have when they see our dilapidated facilities.”

In Nov. 2019, when the project was first approved, Head Track and Field coach Ray Peterson noted that the outdated track has proven to be a safety hazard for students, both in sports and in Physical Education (PE) classes. PE students and student athletes may benefit greatly from these renovations. These students utilize the track and field on a daily basis and expressed excitement for the project when it was first approved.

“[The renovations will lead to] improved physical education and athletics facilities for PE, sports, band and community use,” Quirk said.

When the proposal was voted on, advocates opposing the project argued that the money for the project would be better spent elsewhere. Many suggested redirecting the funds to refurbishing outdated classrooms and bathrooms on the BVH campus. While Del Rosario sympathizes with the need for improved facilities, he expresses that the priority at the moment is the track and field since those renovations are approved by SUHSD.

“Some of our dated architecture doesn’t look institutional, and I don’t disagree that those [renovations to bathrooms and classrooms] are priorities, but I support what the community wants right now, which is a new stadium,” Del Rosario said. “There’s an opportunity to move forward and it’s going to be a very good thing for the community, but it’s not going to prevent us from advocating for other renovations.”

While the students of BVH will not be on campus to begin their second semester, Del Rosario remains optimistic that the project will prove to be a unifying symbol when the school community returns to Otay Lakes Rd.

“I’m very much looking forward to someday being at the ribbon cutting and opening up that new field for our community,” Del Rosario said. “At the same time, I’m going to continue working with the stakeholders, the parents, volunteers, students and staff on campus beautification. Even [with the absence] of new construction, I think there’s a lot we can do to make our campus a more open and welcoming environment.”