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El Toro Chargers Might Get Home Turf for the First Time

El Toro High School may get new bleachers and lighting on its football and track field, allowing its athletes to host home games.

The Chargers could face opponents on home turf for the first time under a district proposal that would add new bleachers, lighting, ticket booths and scoreboard to the football and track field.

Lake Forest's only public high school may finally get to host its own home games if the Saddleback Valley Unified School District plan to upgrade the stadium passes muster. The change would mean elimination of travel for El Toro teams to the stadium at Trabuco Hills High School, where they now compete.

"The proposed upgrades to the existing football and track field would provide state of the art facilities similar to those of surrounding cities," according to Noemi Avila-Zamudio, Saddleback Valley Unified School District's coordinator of facilities planning and construction.

SVUSD is considering putting in 18 rows of new home side bleachers, able to fit 2,500 visitors, ADA ramps, and a vertical wheelchair lift to the pressbox. On the visitor side, the proposal suggests 11 rows of bleachers to hold approximately 1,729 people.

According to the study, the bleachers would be designed to mitigate noise. 

The school would also get a concessions building with ticket booths and restrooms, accessible ramps and accessible parking. 

As part of the plan, lighting on four 80-foot poles would illuminate the field.

The project is currently in the preliminary schematic design stages. Next, it will undergo a review to see if its construction could have a significant negative impact on the environment. 

It's unclear how much the project would cost.

A public meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday in the El Toro High gym to provide the community an opportunity to learn more about the project proposal.

SVUSD is accepting comments on the study describing the proposed project through June 12.

The public will also have a chance to comment on the draft report summarizing the environmental impacts of the project from June 29 through Aug. 13.

In September, the SVUSD board is scheduled to hold a hearing regarding the proposal.

Those interested in commenting on the proposal can send written comments to Noemi Avila-Zamudio, Coordinator, Facilities Planning & Construction Department at 25631 Peter A. Hartman Way, Mission Viejo, CA 92691 or to avilan@svusd.org.

PBT May 25, 2012 at 06:00 PM
They don't have to practice at THHS. Please tell me one Trinity league school that has a stadium at there school. They are arguably the most successful programs in the state. Portable Musco lighting systems work great. Your arguments make it sound like no sport should have away games because of cost. Football only has 5-6 home games a year. This is a complete waste of money. The money should go to a new Elementary school where they are building 2400 homes.
Joseph Lanterna May 26, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Although modern lighting technology will reduce "spillover" the fact remains that with football, soccer, lacrosse, and band using the field, it will be lit up virtually every night. No combined event/practice schedule was presented, probably for good reason. There should be more consideration for the residents who will looking at these lights every night. My biggest concern is for parking and traffic. The parking estimates presented barely handled current "home games" at Trabuco Hills HS. Every suporter of the field expressed expectation of increased attendance, so the excess parking and traffic will spill into the surrounding neighborhoods.
Hank Deming May 28, 2012 at 06:10 PM
What happened to the Measure B funds that were approved over 7 years ago specifically for this project? The Measure B funding stated the stadium must be build "off site" and for some reason, the project did not go forward as SVUSD wanted it built at the High school. The City of Lake Forest agreed to work with SVUSD and ETHS to build a sports park which would incorporate ETHS school needs. The city is still planning the sports park and has not broken ground as yet. The money the district has now (redevelopment funds), could be used to replace the portable classrooms at ETHS, or greater needs throughout the district. Where is this Measure B money now?
angela June 08, 2012 at 04:53 PM
The city sportspark barely has the parking to accommodate the entities who will be using those fields. THAT is a CITY park. Give our kids a home stadium.
Dennis Amundson dennisamundson@ymail.com October 07, 2012 at 09:37 PM
When you have a kid like Alec Shoffiett playing for eltoro put the damn lights in so we can see our star shine every school should have a field to play on and we all know their # 1 get off your buts and get this field updated Dennis!!!

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