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Morgan Hill
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August 19, 2022

Latest phase of renovation includes all-weather track

Next year
’s Acorn track teams and football teams will have something to
cheer about as another round of renovations at Live Oak High,
scheduled for completion by graduation in June, is now under
way.
Next year’s Acorn track teams and football teams will have something to cheer about as another round of renovations at Live Oak High, scheduled for completion by graduation in June, is now under way.

A new all-weather track will be installed around a new, wider football field, complete with a drainage system.

“The whole project is really weather-dependent,” Live Oak Co-Principal Rich Knapp said. “If we get a lot of rain, that’s going to slow things down. To seal the track, the weather must be dry. After they seal, it sits for a while, then they have to seal it again.”

Renovations for Live Oak are funded by approximately $17 million from a $72.5 million bond issue passed in June 1999. Also included in the package were the construction of the new Barrett Elementary and the new Sobrato High.

Renovation projects at Live Oak were prioritized and divided into phases. Five classroom buildings, a new pool, library and practice gym were part of the first two phases.

Phase three projects include the science lecture hall building (including two classrooms), the science building (remodeling four classrooms), the auditorium, the industrial technology building, the art and home economics building, the boys and girls locker rooms, the administration building and the track/football stadium.

The new track will include more than just a running surface.

“It will have a high jump area off to one side, we will have a triple jump area, a shot put area and a pole vault area,” Knapp said.

The school has wanted to develop its track program more fully for a few years, Knapp said, and this will give them the opportunity to do so. A donation for purchase of equipment also will make a difference.

Live Oak Athletic Director Dennis Martin said the donation, combined with money from the athletic booster club and a wine auction, will give them roughly $35,000 to spend on the track team for uniforms and equipment.

“Two years ago, the father of our Track and Field Head Varsity Coach Dean Raymond passed away, and the Raymond Family Foundation gave us a sizable donation to purchase some equipment,” he said. “There are many things that we needed to purchase, including hurdles and poles for vaulting. We haven’t had pole vaulting for the last 15 years. As a result, we always go into track meets down nine points (because they can’t compete in that area).

The donation will help the school purchase poles, which cost approximately $200-250 each, said Martin.

“We need a slew of new poles, because you have to have a different pole for every 10 pounds you increase in weight,” he said.

The team also wants to purchase starting blocks and timing devices.

Martin said the community will benefit from the new track.

“This will be a positive thing for the community, because we can all benefit from the improved surface, including those who like to go out there on the weekends to run,” he said.

Knapp said the new track will have a slightly different shape.

“It will be a little wider and shorter, but still a 400 meter track,” he said.

The size of the football field will also change, widening to better accommodate regulation soccer games and the new track.

“We’re going to take a lot of dirt out, put in a French drain around the inside of it (track), put in a different drainage system for the field and put in drains behind the endzone,” said Knapp. “While we’re doing this, we’re also dropping all the conduit for a new electrical system, a new PA system, and we’ll eventually move the score board to other end of the field, but we’ll need DSA approval first.”

School Board trustees have expressed concern about maintaining the track.

“There is a clear maintenance schedule that comes with it,” Knapp said. “We’ll use plywood sheeting to cover where kids cross the track with spikes, and there are only certain places where vehicles can cross.”

The field itself will be used less in order to preserve it.

“It won’t be in continual use, it will be more controlled than in the past,” Knapp said. “We’ll have to look carefully at how we fertilize it, how we give it rest time. When Sobrato is finished, we’ll have more area to work with, more softball diamonds, more practice fields.”

Varsity Football Coach Glen Webb said he thinks it is good to have the track but the field renovations are minor.

“They are recrowning field so it doesn’t drop off at the sidelines and putting in new grass and new irrigation,” he said. “Both are needed. The sprinklers tend to go out, one or two every year.”

Webb said the facility still needs improved grandstands and press box.

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