Lompoc High School track and football field to get major makeover

Posted at 6:02 PM, Jun 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-29 21:02:16-04

Lompoc High School’s track and field are getting a $2.4 million makeover. 

The project is being made possible by community foundations and the school district. However, construction could be lengthy, potentially affecting graduation next year. 

Huyck Stadium is home to both Cabrillo and Lompoc football teams, community events like graduation, 4th of July and Relay for Life. Construction is slated to start in December 2018 and end next Aug. 2019, and could impact these activities. 
"The last 55 years have really taken a toll on this facility," said Ashley Costa, Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization. "The crown of the sports field has been worn away because of continuous use. We also have the added challenge of gophers which creates a lot of holes and unsafe conditions for athletes to use the field. The crushed red brick is also an older material and can cause a higher risk of injury to athletes."
Football players in Lompoc have competed on this beat up field for years. The Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization says it’s time for a change. 

"Our football team is really good and I feel like we deserve a good field," said Hannah Larsh, Lompoc High School senior. "Especially because Cabrillo uses it, too. We all deserve a good field to play on."
"We’re taking the crushed red brick track and installing a nine-lane synthetic turf field," Costa said. 

Architectural rendering of new track and field

It includes the use of a soccer field and space for many new track events like pole vault, high jump, and shot put. 
The upgrade will allow Lompoc and Cabrillo to host CIF-sanctioned track meets. 
"I am vice president of my class for ASB, so this has been a topic we’ve been discussing for a year or two now," said Ruby Gonzales, Lompoc High School senior.
Students have been talking about it and many are excited. 
"Our stadium is old and I think the improvements will bring positive Lompoc Braves vibes to the high school, all new and improved," Gonzalez said.

"Honestly, I’m super excited and happy that our school gets the chance to do this," Larsh said.

However, graduation traditions on the field are also on the minds of many. 

"My sister, she’s a freshman," Gonzales said. "So hopefully she will be able to graduate in the stadium, but I’m disappointed that we can’t."

"The construction timeline is very conservative," Costa told KSBY News. "What we don’t want to do is over-promise the amount of time and have it take longer than anticipated. We are creating contingency plans with the district and move other events during construction time."
"I want to graduate on the field where everyone else has graduated so it’s kind of a downside," Larsh said.
Cost breakdown:

  • Lompoc Unified School District – $1.2 million  
  • Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation – $450,000
  • Anonymous donation from a Montecito philanthropist – $100,000 (will also be a matching grant to the community)
  • Lompoc Rotary Club – $25,000 

$600,000 remains to be funded. The organization says "they are very confident they will raise the remaining funds." A volunteer committee is set up and will be asking businesses, organizations, individuals, and foundations for the remaining dollars. 
Once the renovations are complete they say the school will open the facility for one hour in the morning and in the evening for community use. Right now, the track is not open for community use. 

The school district has not yet responded for comment on the contingency plans for graduation or other community events. 

Additional project features are listed below:

New Synthetic Turf Field

  • Allows for year-round use by physical education classes, athletic teams, and the community 
  • Incorporates a wide 70 ‘X 115’ soccer field 
  • Meets modern safety and performance standards

New 9-Lane Rubberized Track 

  • Does not stain or ruin footwear 
  • Safe and low-maintenance surface
  • Provides physical education classes and athletic teams with a place to train and compete 
  • Allows Lompoc and Cabrillo to host CIF sanctioned track meets
  • A place for all Lompoc Valley residents to exercise

New Track & Field Sites

  • Pole Vault 
  • High Jump 
  • Long Jump 
  • Triple Jump 
  • Shot Put 

The "Foundation of the Community" donor walkway rendering shows the updated entrance which will have engraved bricks featuring donors’ names.