West Valley High gets new athletic field turf

Heavy rainfall, poor drainage cited as cause of flooding

Photo courtesy of HUSD
Anthony Pipkins, HUSD director of maintenance and operations, performed the coin toss at the first game of the season. Pipkins was instrumental in replacing the drainage and flooded turf at West Valley High School.

■ Chronicle News Service

School has been in session for almost two months and fall athletics are in full swing. Students show their school pride by wearing school shirts or colors, reminding each other of games via social media, and making their voices heard in the cheering section at athletic events. However, staff members at West Valley High School used the first football game of the season to show a different kind of pride for their school.
Southern California received more rainfall during the last school year than the last couple of years combined. Due to the excess rainfall, West Valley students and staff were faced with a challenge: their football field was so inundated with water that it was no longer draining properly.
“This challenge hit its peak when the West Valley Girls’ Soccer team was set to host its CIF game and the field was flooded,” said Alex Sponheim, public information officer for the Hemet Unified School District. “What can only be described as the epitome of teamwork, students and staff grabbed buckets and any other tools available to get the water off the field in time for the game.”
Over the summer, the District’s Maintenance and Operations Department set to work. Staff put in a new drainage system and replaced part of the football field with new turf all before the first game of the season, said Sponheim.
As a great big “thank you,” West Valley Principal Dr. Janice Jones asked Director of Maintenance and Operations Anthony Pipkins to perform the coin toss at the first game of the season to show the school’s appreciation. We look forward to the fall athletic season and encourage our community members to attend the games and show their support for their local high school’s athletic programs.

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