New joint-use sports complex in the works

Posted Oct. 12, 2007

Galo Pesantes
Sports Editor

To accommodate Leopards’ athletics in the future, as well as the city’s growing need for youth sports facilities, the La Verne city council approved the plan for a new sports complex to be located in the southern part of the city.

On Oct. 1, approval from the council made the deal between the city and the University of La Verne official and granted joint ownership of the proposed sports center.

This deal included the purchase of 35 acres of land formerly owned by the Metro­politan Water District, which is located north of Brackett Field and east of Marshall Creek.

As part of the $1.3 million deal, ULV will hold a 199-year lease on the land, paying $1 a year.

“This latest effort by the university and the city is a partnership to achieve a desired end,” athletic director Chris­topher Ragsdale said. “That end is the high quality sports facilities that can benefit the community and the University.”

This will be the second time the University of La Verne has partnered with the city for a sports complex. In 1998, they worked to build the La Verne Aquatic Center.

The new sports complex will house seven tennis courts, a softball field and a lighted soccer field for use by the city and University athletic teams.

Additionally, the University will still have land left over for future use.

“It is very important for the University to have competitive facilities,” said President Stephen Morgan. “I believe that good facilities add to the teaching and the experience for our students.”

Construction of the sports complex also seems to be coming at the perfect time for the parties involved.

The city has been having trouble scheduling all recreational sports teams with time allotted for other sports while the University undergoing its master plan construction has forced the removal of the Nancy Blickenstaff Tennis Pavilion.

“I don’t believe the new facilities will meet the needs for all,” said La Verne City Coun­cilman Steven F. Johnson. “But I think it will help satisfy the needs for some in the community and the University, but certainly not all.”

More emphasis is being placed on athletic and recreational facilities as the city continues to grow with opportunities for its young people.

In March, the council passed the construction agreement between the city and Bonita High School for renovation of Glenn Davis Stadium.

The new artificial turf was approved for the school and now serves the school football team and band in addition to recreational leagues like Pop Warner and club soccer.

As the La Verne softball and tennis teams inherit new homes with the facility construction, the door has been opened to move or renovate the football and baseball fields.

Possible changes may include resurfacing of Ortmayer Stadium turf and track in addition to a move of Ben Hines Field.

However, for now the new sports complex should accommodate the most immediate needs for athletic teams on campus.

“The key is that it means new and improved facilities for both men’s and women’s soccer, softball and baseball,” Ragsdale said. “That is exciting.”

Galo Pesantes can be reached at gpesantes@ulv.edu.

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