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$1 million campaign for Placer athletic complex announced

Organizers, school want new turf field, better lighting
By: Staff Report
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Placer High is aiming for an improved athletic complex and announced its effort to raise $1 million for the first phase on Tuesday.

Bob Haydon, campaign chairman, Placer High Principal Peter Efstathiu, Placer High varsity football coach Joey Montoya along with senior Hillmen football players made the announcement at the Tuesday meeting of the Auburn Rotary Club.

The goal in the first phase is to renovate the track and field as well as improve lighting, walkways and stadium seating at LeFebvre Stadium. Plans include underlying the field and track with drainage and installing synthetic turf. The 15-year-old track would also receive an overlay of synthetic material. Lighting would be upgraded, visitors seating raised and home side seating extended.

The second phase would include improving the softball complex as well as the soccer and football practice fields.

The first phase is estimated to cost $1 million but could be more, said Haydon, who is also the president and CEO of Community 1st Bank in Auburn and a member of the Auburn Rotary Club.

The club approved a $10,000 donation to kick start the fundraising campaign Tuesday and handed a check to the Placer Union High School District for the project.

Efstathiu said the school board has heard several presentations about the plans and have approved the fundraising effort. However, all funds will be donated and no taxpayer funds for education will be used, he said.

The school board will approve bids for construction, Efstathiu added.

To date, engineers have donated their time to do preliminary work and supply the school with a drawing. More detailed analysis will be needed before the school can move forward.

Montoya said Tuesday the wear and tear on the field is “substantial” from use by school teams, physical education classes and the community. He and top senior football player Eddie Vanderdoes spoke in favor of turf especially on rainy game nights when they said turf could’ve changed the outcome of close games.

“Those are some of the small reasons, but there are much bigger, more exciting reasons,” Montoya said.

Haydon said the upgraded complex would be a community project and the track and field would remain open for public use. It will also still be a place for other community teams to play including pee wee football, soccer, junior varsity and varsity football.

“This is a community effort and a community asset,” Haydon said. “It will be open to the public.”