More students mean more facilities

Sequoia High School is getting ready to roll out a $19 million revamp of its athletic facilities, including a brand-new gym and the return of its tennis courts as a student population boom is expected.

Those courts were covered two years ago when the high school leased portable classrooms to Summit Prep Charter High School, which has since moved.

In the first $4 million phase of the gymnasium plan, the courts will be restored this summer while crews reconfigure the gym parking lot and shift the softball field, according to Don Gielow, construction manager for the district.

In later phases, a new gym will be built and the current one will be retrofitted with a weight room and wrestling pad, while the basketball and volleyball areas will be upgraded and a new covered lunch area will be added.

The district board is scheduled to vote on the first phase Wednesday.

Sequoia High School is expected to grow from its current population of 1,600 students to 2,000 by 2012, according to Superintendent Pat Gemma.

That, combined with the fact that Redwood City residents use the fields and track when school isn’t in session, makes the athletics plan a good investment, said board President Lorraine Rumley, whose daughter is on Sequoia’s soccer and track teams.

“Our sports teams are growing,” Rumley said. Sequoia’s football team is making a name for itself, and its girls’ varsity soccer team won the division title last year, Rumley added.

Funds for the athletics expansion will come from Measure H, a $70 million facilities bond approved by voters in 2004.

The bond has also allowed the district to build performing-arts centers at Carlmont, Woodside, and Menlo-Atherton high schools and buy property for Summit, Sequoia Adult School and a new charter high school in East Palo Alto.

The Sequoia High School District board meets Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the district offices, 480 James Ave., Redwood City.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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