Local Donors Are Underpinnings of New HMS Gym

The forthcoming Barth Athletic Complex to be constructed at Huntington Middle School has received additional funding courtesy of the local Barger family, according to San Marino Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Alex Cherniss.
The Bargers, who include Los Angeles County supervisor candidate Kathryn Barger, hold naming rights for what will become the facility’s multipurpose room, thanks to the family’s $250,000 contribution to the project.
“The schools are going to be able to use it for all sorts of activities,” Cherniss said Monday.
Cherniss pointed out specifically that San Marino High School’s wrestling team would likely make use of the room, as the current facilities for the team are less than ideal.
“We really need to start looking at all of the facilities and how we utilize them,” Cherniss added. “The city’s also going to be able to get great use out of this.”
John Barger, a local businessman, said that the people involved with funding the project are “A-1 people,” and it makes him proud that San Marino has housed his family for generations.
“We believe that the community and just the spirit of participation in San Marino make the place so special,” he said. “We are blessed to be able to do our fair share.”
The full complex is so-named for residents Andy and Avery Barth, who have put up $3.5 million for the project. Another $500,000 donated by residents Lisa and Tim Sloan will result in the complex’s fitness center bearing their name. (The School Board approved the naming agreement last week.)
The SMUSD has pledged $2 million toward the project, and Cherniss said he’s hoping to raise around $10 million more for what he hopes will be an approximately $14 million price tag.
“We won’t know for sure [about the amount] until we bid the project,” he added.
Andy Barth said donations continuing to come in from San Marino residents are just the latest examples of the community stepping up for the city in different ways to support the arts, academics and athletics. He said the “identity people have with the city” coexists with its schools.
“These are two efforts that go together,” he said.
John Barger said he agreed.
“These guys are not the kind of people who do things just for notoriety,” he said.
Cherniss said he hopes the plans are approved by the Division of the State Architect in December, so that the project can be put out for public bids in January. Once the board accepts a bid, he said, demolition of the existing building would tentatively begin after the current school year ends in June.

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