For at least the next two years, the Los Angeles Premier Futbol Club will continue to call La Cañada High School home.
The Governing Board agreed at its meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 15, to license the La Cañada High School football field — where the turf was replaced last summer as part of a $1.3-million upgrade — to the soccer club already associated with the lease.
The new license will run through June 30, 2020, and will generate $3,000 per month, Chief Business and Operations Officer Mark Evans said. The organization previously paid $1,500 per month as part of a lease through 2018.
The licensing deal supersedes the current lease and will include increased revenues that will be implemented immediately, rather than in 2018. There also will be an annual inflation adjustment to index costs and help address future construction increases, according to the district’s agenda report.
At their prior February meeting, Governing Board members heard from F.C. Golden State’s Bob Friedland, who told them that field space is at such a premium that La Cañada Unified School District could get more if it opened up bidding and asked for more money.
But further analysis proved to LCUSD officials that the L.A. Premier deal was fair, Evans said, noting that the club also pays $8,000-$9,000 per year for lighting as well as helping to fund additional maintenance at the site. The board also can re-evaluate the agreement in a couple of years, Evans said.
Another important factor: The club’s ties to LCHS’ soccer programs.
L.A. Premiere’s Barry Ritson said that 60% or more of both the Spartans boys’ and girls’ high school soccer teams are products of his program.
“We’re really proud the kids are doing so well,” Ritson said. “These are kids we see for eight, nine months of the year.”
Tyler Wright, the CEO of YMCA of the Foothills, extended an invitation to LCUSD educators: “If you want to join the YMCA, it’s free.”
Wright said he’s become aware of studies indicating that education and nursing are trending as unhealthy vocations, citing reasons that included the stress of the work, the “work after work” and commuting hours.
“I’m seeing a crisis,” said Wright, who noted that his organization has also begun collaborative partnerships with USC Keck Medical Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “So I come to you with this proposal: I would like to offer our services. And it’s not about providing free memberships, it’s about bringing ourselves to you.”
He offered to hold on-campus, before-school programs “so your educators are feeling alive and thriving.”
Governing Board President Dan Jeffries thanked Wright for the offer and planned to discuss it more, after looking into any possible liability or worker’s compensation issues.
Governing Board member Ellen Multari said she also would like to see more students make use of the YMCA.
“How do we get more of our students there?” she asked. “As I’m driving up Foothill Boulevard, I see these clusters of kids not getting much past the Town Center. If we could just get them one more mile, the YMCA would be a much better place for them to hang out at … because there are tremendous activities there.”
In the vein of “Challenge Success,” the program that LCUSD has adopted in its quest to provide its community with tools to create a more balanced life for students, LCHS will host a seminar billed as “Challenge Success: Building Your Path.”
The event will bring together community leaders to speak about their paths to success from 9 a.m.-2:20 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, at the high school. The event is open to LCUSD families and alumni.
The brainchild of Governing Board member Brent Kuszyk, the event will feature 30 local professionals in fields ranging from arts and entertainment to politics, medicine and technology. One of the scheduled keynote speakers is Chris Buck, who won an Oscar for his work directing Disney’s hit “Frozen.”
“What does success mean for the adults in our community who have proven themselves to be very successful?” Sinnette asked. “Not all of those paths were direct, not all of them necessarily followed what one would think is a typical path to success.”