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Memorial Field in line for touch-up

September 22, 2004

Mark R. Madler

Remaining funds from the Burbank Unified School District's renovation

projects of its schools could be earmarked for improvements at

Memorial Field, a joint meeting of the school board and City Council

decided.

The two bodies agreed Monday night that improving the athletic

facilities at John Burroughs High School would benefit the school

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district and city and went forward with forming a committee to look

into what work needs to be done.

"This is a community space and we don't have a lot of space left,"

Councilman Todd Campbell said. "We don't have a lot of options and we

should move forward."

It could be two years or more before knowing how much, if any, of

the bond funds will remain, Supt. Greg Bowman said.

The district is at the tail end of its six-year-long program of

renovating its schools. The remaining schools to be fixed up this

coming year are Luther Burbank Middle School, William McKinley and

Providencia elementary schools, and Monterey High School.

The renovations are paid for from a $112.5-million bond issue

approved by voters in 1997.

During the 2000-01 school year, an Athletic Facilities Task Force

of school and city staff and residents had looked into improvements

at Memorial Field, but there was no money at the time to move ahead

with the work, Bowman said.

The new committee will pick up where the task force had left off,

Bowman added.

Some of the suggestions the task force made included replacing the

irrigation infrastructure, replacing the deck coating of the

bleachers, replacing light fixtures and perimeter fencing, and

sandblasting and painting bleacher support structures.

Regardless of whether there will be money left over, the school

board and City Council believed it was important to fix up Memorial

Stadium and suggested exploring other fundraising.

"If we don't make an effort, another 2 1/2 years will go and

there will continue to be deterioration and the public will ask why

we didn't do anything," Councilmember Jef Vander Borght said.

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