The Hacienda La Puente Unified School Board has taken the first step toward getting new artificial turf at three high schools, as well as a new swimming pool at La Puente High. The board voted to add the projects to its priority list and begin design work on the $23 million proposals.
“It was a great day because this is long overdue,” said Board President Gino Kwok after the meeting. “It’s a watershed moment because its important to our students.”
Members of the boosters club from all four high schools packed the board meeting.
“We had 26 speakers comment about the poor shape of our fields and the La Puente pool,” noted board member Penny Fraumeni. “They complained about strained and broken ankles suffered from gopher holes on the football fields.”
La Puente High already has artificial turf on its football field and track. But the original swimming pool is full of cracks, which leaks up to six inches of water every day, according to Fraumeni.
“We keep wasting taxpayers’ money trying to fix that old pool,” Fraumeni explained. “We could have put that money toward a new swimming pool.”
The new board member ran on a platform calling for a new football stadium at Wilson High School. After the election, she said she realized the district couldn’t afford a new stadium.
“So I worked with board member Kwok, who thought we can could afford to replace the football fields and tracks,” Fraumeni said.
Kwok said they fought to get the projects added to the priority list. He said board member Anthony Duarte expressed serious concerns about paying for the projects.
“I’m for replacing the fields and the swimming pool,” agreed Duarte. “But I also want to know how we’re going to pay for it.”