Hart school board OKs turf, auditorium projects 

The sign in front of the William S. Hart Union High School District administrative office. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
The sign in front of the William S. Hart Union High School District administrative office. Katherine Quezada/The Signal

New turf for three high school football fields and a bid to modernize the Valencia High School auditorium were approved at last week’s William S. Hart Union High School District governing board meeting. 

The artificial turf that the district uses at its athletic fields lasts about eight to 10 years, according to Mike Otavka, director of facilities, meaning the fields at West Ranch, Hart and Golden Valley high schools are due for turf renovations. 

The project, set to be completed by Athletic Field Engineering Sports-AstroTurf, must be done by the summer of 2025 to ensure the fields can be maintained, though Otavka said it was important to approve the project now to lock in the bid price and get on AFE’s installation schedule. 

It will cost approximately $2.3 million to complete the project, with funds coming from the Special Reserve for Capital Projects. 

“By approving these field replacements now a year in advance, the district is avoiding a price increase that Astroturf is implementing later this year,” Otavka said, “and will allow us to get on AFE’s installation schedule early, even as early as winter break.” 

The district would not make any payments for the project until it is completed, according to Otavka. 

Valencia saw its field get new turf last summer — though the project ended up extending into the fall semester — while Saugus and Canyon high schools both got replacements over the winter break. 

The Valencia auditorium project was approved last month, and now a bid has been approved that will see the district spend about $1.3 million on renovations. It will be completed by Chalmers Construction Services, a La Crescenta-based general contracting firm. 

Funds for the project will also come from the capital reserve fund. 

Board President Linda Storli wondered if instead of simply renovating the auditorium, it could be remodeled and made bigger.  

“It’s funny because it used to be the new school and had the new stuff,” Storli said. “And now it’s the older school and it’s got the smallest auditorium.” 

Otavka said that sort of project “takes much more time and it’s much more costly.” 

“This actually came in under budget,” Otavka said. “We budgeted about $2 million for this. We had some bids that were higher than this. This is going to make that auditorium much more functional. It’ll be like a facelift for that auditorium.” 

He added that the space the auditorium occupies on the campus, located on the south side of the campus near the visitor parking lot on Dicakson Drive, is not big enough to expand the auditorium. 

Ralph Peschek, assistant superintendent of business services, said the district has expended all of its Measure SA funds, which means a new general obligation bond would have to be considered for a project of that size. 

“Well, we don’t want to do that,” Storli said. 

Measure SA was approved by voters in 2008 and saw the district receive $300 million for the construction of new school facilities and the improvement of existing facilities. A major goal of the measure was to fund the development of Castaic High School. 

The average bid for the auditorium project was just more than $1.7 million, with the highest bid coming in at $2.06 million. 

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS