Sports leaders weigh in on LCHS field contract

Not enough money for work needed, not enough time for all the users are the issues.

February 02, 2011|By Andrew Shortall,

Leaders of La Cañada sports groups asked La Cañada Unified School District officials not to forget about them. They made their plea as the district investigates the possibility of nullifying an existing contract, and entering into a new one, for the use and upkeep of La Cañada High School’s football field.

The requests came during the city and school board’s joint-use committee meeting Thursday morning.

Concerns about the limited availability of the field under the district’s current agreement with the Arroyo United Foundation and Spartan Boosters Club were raised by members of the La Cañada Gladiators youth football program and a La Cañada High coach.

The district is looking into terminating its contract with Arroyo Foundation and the Spartan Boosters, which lasts through 2018, and entering into a similar contract with a new organization for joint use of the field. A meeting between the three parties is coming up in the next couple of weeks, Supt. Jim Stratton said.


“Right now we’re trying to clarify the ongoing commitment to that contract,” Stratton said.

La Cañada High’s field will need to be replaced within the next four years. The estimated cost for replacing the field’s artificial turf is $382,000, said Mike Leininger, the district's assistant superintendent of facilities and operations.

The problem is that the Arroyo Foundation and Boosters Club have had difficulty meeting their respective annual payments of $8,000 and $5,000, which are designated to be used for maintaining and replacing the seven-year-old field. This has the district researching alternative arrangements.

Cindy Wilcox, a school-board member, said she’s wary of entering into a similar agreement with a new organization, which Leininger describes as his ideal situation. The problem with the current arrangement, Wilcox says, is that the field becomes overused. The Arroyo United Foundation has control of the field on weekends and on weekday evenings from 5:30 p.m. on, she said.

“I’m really reluctant to sign another contract when we need to rehabilitate that field. If the [next group] takes as many hours, I don’t want to sign that contract,” she said.

Alison Dodson, coach of the La Cañada High girls’ lacrosse team, raised concerns about the limited use of the field.

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