More than 100 people crowded into the cafeteria of C.K. McClatchy High School in Sacramento’s Land Park neighborhood on Monday night to learn what can be done to improve the school’s deteriorating athletic fields.
Jay Hansen, president of the Sacramento City Unified School District board, said he thinks up to $4 million in bond proceeds can be found to fix the school’s aging fields and courts.
Money from the local Measure R bond intended for school improvements has already been earmarked by board members, but Hansen says he thinks funds from a state bond and another district bond can help the school, which was built in the late 1930s.
Hansen and other school and district officials spoke during a meeting organized by Restore the Roar, a school booster organization. The group wants a lighted all-weather sports facility to replace a field that often floods. It also wants resurfaced tennis courts and an updated baseball field.
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Some audience members were not persuaded by Hansen’s plan for improvements.
Bernie Church, the school’s former longtime baseball coach, said he has listened to similar explanations for decades.
“We have the worst school facilities in the city,” he said. “I’ve been to too many meetings like this. I’m sorry for being a little bit upset, but I’m mad.”
His last remark drew loud applause from the audience, which appeared to be mostly made up of parents.
Denis Ishisaka, president of Restore the Roar, said the organization has been pressing the school board and district administrators for two years about the need for improvements, but “not much has really changed.”
“Our facilities are out of date and need a lot of help,” he said. “It really poses a safety hazard for the kids.”
District voters approved more than $400 million in bonds for school improvements in 2012, including $68 million for Measure R’s health-and-safety improvements. The district used $2 million for a gym renovation at McClatchy, which added air conditioning for the first time, Hansen noted.