BCCHS moves to new turf on track and field

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Christine Valenzuela

Varsity football player Kyle Matson warming up before last year's homecoming game.

Farah Faiza and Mahali Sanchez

Students at Birmingham Community Charter High School will be looking forward to a brand new track and field since the charter went ahead with the remodel that had been planned to take place in the last four years.

“The planning for this project has been going on for a couple of years,” Birmingham’s track coach Scott King said. “The all-weather football field is a major upgrade and makes our stadium the premier high school athletic facility in Los Angeles.”

Construction crews have kept busy these past months as they install the new field turf and track lanes. Previous delays were due to the remodel having to go through the Department of State Architect and the Los Angeles Unified School District. Currently, the remodel should be complete by October, and while it misses the football season, it will be available for the spring track season. The design is meant to save both money and water.

While work on the site is being done, students cannot make use of the field to the same extent, if at all, so practice for sports has been transferred to other fields. Track and cross country athletes have been running laps around the school and using the baseball field during practice, even using nearby parks.

Additionally, there have been no home games at Birmingham for the past year since they originally planned to remodel last year but did not go through with it. A football game held on Sept. 14 at Cleveland High School was their “home game.” With the field unavailable, it isn’t just games and practice being affected but other events too, for instance, homecoming.

“We’re crossing our fingers, we have an outside chance to get to have a homecoming game on Oct. 26 but we also have to realize that there’s a chance we might not be able to have it,” Birmingham’s athletic director Rick Prizant said.

The project had been met with mixed responses due to how many times it’s been delayed. Not only from students at Birmingham but also student-athletes from Daniel Pearl Magnet High School who play for their teams. Some prefer the old field than the new one that will be implemented, considering that it will be covered with turf.

“I don’t like turf too much as it hurts if you fall, and you get turf burn,” senior varsity football player Kyle Matson said. “On the other one, you just get dirty.”

However, it is being looked forward to and will be beneficial for students like the football and track teams, but also physical education classes and the coaches.

“It is important for Birmingham and Daniel Pearl students to have a championship facility,” King said. “It will be something that we can all be proud of.”