GONZALES — A lot of digging, dragging and painting has been going on this summer at Gonzales High School and will continue through the year, beginning with the installation of a new digital scoreboard at the Dick Force Stadium, upgrades to the softball and baseball fields and other renovations, including fresh paint and new plants around the school.
“The upgrades to the fields will allow our P.E. classes to do lessons outside safely as well as our athletics,” said Margie Daniels, Gonzales High’s athletic director and Physical Education teacher. “Having the field level will provide relief to coaches and teachers that our students won’t get injured because of holes. The upgrades to the stadium and the war room (athletics meeting room) will make our teams proud to play.”
According to Daniels, the practice fields and playing fields for baseball and softball were being redone because of the squirrel and gopher situation that caused holes in the fields, resulting in student-athletes potentially getting injured.
“It appears this is going to be a battle with the critters,” Daniels said. “The date is not set when the fields will be ready. MOT (Maintenance Operations and Transportation) Director Trini Zavala took the lead on getting the fields fixed. The company he brought in has been hard at work all summer.”
The new stadium scoreboard project began at the end of last school year. Daniels is hopeful that it will be completed in time for the school’s first home game on Sept. 23.
Other future upgrades include an all-weather track and new flooring in the war room.
“I’ve been told the district anticipates we will get an all-weather track, which will begin next summer, but I have yet to get confirmation,” Daniels said. “The war room will also be getting a makeover with new flooring.”
Gonzales is the only high school in Monterey County that still practices on a dirt facility and has been unable to host a track and field meet at home since 2005.
Gonzales High School Principal Jer Soriano is excited about the projects that are taking place that will add safety and beauty to the campus and to the athletic fields.
“I think all the work that is taking place to improve our school is a blessing and is something we have needed for a long time for the school and for the Gonzales community,” Soriano said. “We are also adding new walls and painting our music room, and added new artwork to the entrance area of the school, giving the school a much-needed makeover.”
Soriano will soon be presenting the plan for a synthetic track and field facility to the school board, and said that other new projects will continue through the year.
“I am very excited about all the work that is being done,” Soriano added. “Soon we will have a scoreboard at the stadium that will not only run the game time and scores, but will be able to digitally show game highlights and replays. With the guidance of Dr. Matilde Zamora, our new superintendent, we will have a school that everyone can be proud to attend and work at.”