PaliHi Track, Field Replacement Funding Coming from Various Sources

By Laurel Busby
Staff Writer

The Palisades High School track and field replacement began on June 29 with a schedule designed to finish the field’s construction by August 31, the date of the football team’s first home game.

The project, which was needed for safety reasons, is budgeted at $1.36 million, funding which will come from varied sources, according to school officials. AYSO Region 69 has pledged $150,000, while the Westside Breakers have pledged $50,000. A school reserve fund will contribute $402,000, while a booster club auction raised $24,800.

The U.S. Soccer Federation will provide a grant of 15 percent of the cost of the field (not track), which should add more than $180,000, and the Palisades Charter High School Fund has approved donating $250,000.

The PaliHi turf and track demolition was completed last week. Photo: Matthew Stockman
The PaliHi turf and track demolition was completed during the first week of July. Photo: Matthew Stockman

In addition, a loan of $850,000 from Cathay Bank was approved by the school board. All told, the funds add up to more than the cost of the field, according to Director of Development Michael Rawson.

“We allowed for extra contingencies and expenses that will be incurred during this process,” said Rawson, who is working to raise money to pay off the loan in part through $250 donor bricks which will be set in a Donor Legacy Wall behind the home bleachers.

He noted, “My goal is to raise enough money to pay off the Cathay Bank loan as quickly as possible.”

Bricks with special logos will cost $400, while four-brick arrays will be $1,000. The campaign aims to contribute $250,000 toward repaying the loan. To purchase a brick, which include four lines of text with up to 21 characters per line, visit

Phase 2 of the project will include new stadium seating and lighting, but that will not happen this summer.

“The success of our fundraising efforts and the support of the community will determine the next phase of improvements,” Rawson said.

AFE Sports, located in Signal Hill, won the construction bid, and the contract stipulates payment of $1,272,622 “subject to additions and deductions.” Thus far, additions include a $23,000 center logo, $16,100 sideline letters, $29,325 end-zone letters and $11,550 for protective mats.

Demolition of the deteriorating track and synthetic turf field began on June 29. Two days later, the track had been scraped up, while portions of the turf were cut and rolled and stacked on the south portion of the field, all awaiting removal.

Dane Gurwell, demolition supervisor for AFE Sports, planned to complete demolition by July 7, and the AFE Sports office provided the following constructions details. Preparations for installation should begin this week with the first layer of the track installed this month. The artificial turf will be installed in August to be completed in time for the football team to play its first home game, and the track surface will be completed in September in between home games. Don Parcell, PaliHi’s director of operations who is overseeing the project, said, the “track and field resurfacing project is proceeding on schedule . . . At this time, the field is expected to be completed on time, and the first home football game played as scheduled on August 31.”

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