Hart district announces delays of VHS field 

The William S. Hart Union High School District office
The William S. Hart Union High School District office
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William S. Hart Union High School District officials Monday evening blamed Tropical Storm Hilary for delays that will push back the reopening of Valencia High School’s football field by another six days.  

The news means the Vikings won’t have any nonleague games on their home field this season, based on the schedules posted online. 

The district alerted local media on Monday evening to the delay for the VHS Field Replacement Project, in an email from Debbie Dunn, communications coordinator for the school district.  

“We want to share an update on the VHS Field Replacement Project,” she wrote. “Due to delays caused by Tropical Storm Hilary, the new projected turnover date is Monday, Sept. 11. Games for the week of Sept. 5-8 have been relocated to Canyon High School and College of the Canyons.”  

Ralph Peschek, assistant superintendent of business services for the Hart district, said the work was delayed because the district was warned an exceedingly rare August rainstorm was coming right after the rolls of turf were delivered Aug. 17.  

About two days later, Hilary, a stormfront from Baja, California, brought more than 5 inches of rain to Santa Clarita. Following the storm, all of the school districts took that Monday off, which pushed back work another day, essentially making the five-day delay. 

Peschek has been out to the site several times since the work commenced, and the current stage of the work is extremely hard work, he said, describing how workers are using razors to hand cut lines in the field to prepare it for football, soccer and lacrosse. 

“It’s fascinating work, but it’s very labor-intensive,” he said in a phone interview late Monday.  

After the rolls of turf arrived on campus, district officials said the team was working six days a week in order to get the project completed on time.  

The board approved the project in May 2022, recognizing both Saugus and Valencia High’s fields needed repair.  

“Valencia High School’s field was replaced in 2012 and is out of warranty. AstroTurf will complete a full replacement of the field with their AstroTurf RootZone 3D3 Trionic 60oz system and include a new 10-year warranty at a discount to resolve the issues with the current turf,” according to the board’s approval May 18, 2022. “The proposed rate for Valencia High School is $399,000.” 

The Saugus High field was only installed in 2016, according to the agenda, so it was to be replaced for free. Saugus’ field is expected to be replaced next June.  

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