ORANGE, CA (May 3, 2018) – The Orange Unified School District (OUSD) Board of Trustees voted 7-0 to approve using funds which have been set aside over the past decade to modernize the athletic fields and tracks at Canyon, Orange, and Villa Park High Schools. The unanimous board vote also authorized reconstruction of the 49 year-old Fred Kelly Stadium, located on the El Modena High School campus, in order to bring the facility into compliance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Plans and specifications for the new stadium have already been approved by California’s Division of State Architects (DSA) and the project is ready to move forward to the bid process.
Dozens of students, parents and coaches attended the Board of Education meeting on April 12 to vocalize their support of revamping the stadium and modernizing each high school’s athletic fields. Students have been using the tracks and fields at District high schools for decades and the condition of each has deteriorated over time. The modernized fields will feature synthetic turf and tracks, similar to other local high schools, and other improvements. These modifications will provide students and the community with safer surfaces for physical education classes, athletic competition, and recreational use; reduce day-to-day maintenance costs for the District and weather-related “down time”; and eliminate the cost and impacts associated with watering and fertilization.
The track and field and Fred Kelly Stadium projects will utilize a combination of capital projects funding that the District has been saving for this purpose, as well as community facility district developer fees designated for facilities updates. No “Measure S” school bond dollars, which were approved by voters in 2016, will be used for this undertaking.
“The safety of the students is paramount and these practice fields are in desperate need of modernization,” said Board President Alexia Deligianni-Bridges, Ed.D. “We will also be able to build a new stadium facility, in an efficient and cost-appropriate way, and are pleased to be moving forward with improvements that will serve our students and the taxpayers without going into debt.”
In addition to a unanimous vote by the seven-member OUSD Board of Trustees, the student representatives from the five OUSD high schools (Canyon, El Modena, Orange, Richland, and Villa Park) also supported the proposal. Further board action will be taken once formal proposals are reviewed and separate design and installation agreements are ready for approval.
The track and field improvements at the high schools and the renovation of Fred Kelly Stadium will provide Orange Unified School District’s CIF championship teams, students and the community with the top-notch athletic facilities that they deserve. Fred Kelly Stadium will once again be “A Gold Medal field for a Gold Medal athlete.”
Fred Kelly Stadium was originally built in 1969 and was named after Fred Kelly, a student who attended Orange Union High School and won an Olympic Gold Medal in the 110‐meter high hurdles in the 1912 games. He was also USC's first Olympic Gold Medalist.