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Student-Athletes Need El Toro Field Revamp

Field improvements at El Toro High School are needed to accommodate its student population, writes Ian Morrell.

Ian Morrell sent Lake Forest Patch the following letter to the editor:

Right now El Toro and Trabuco Hills High Schools are the two largest high schools in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District. Combined, they have a student population of 5,735!.... 58% of all district high schoolers.  

Not only has the student population grown, but participation rates and the number of teams has also grown! Over the past 20 years, the total number of athletes at both schools that would be served by a field grew by a whopping 134%!... to approximately 2,010 in 2011 from 860 in 1991. The number of teams also grew by 46%!... to 57 in 2011 from 39 in 1991.

No wonder we’ve outgrown the shared use agreement for the Trabuco Hills Stadium. We really do need the field improvements at El Toro!

According to the 2010 Census, there are 19,115 children under the age of 18 in Lake Forest (a quarter of our city’s population.) Eventually, a majority of these children will pass through El Toro High, becoming involved in extracurricular activities such as Football, Lacrosse, Cheer, Song, Marching Band, Color Guard, Winter Percussion, Soccer, and Track and Field, ....to name a few.

According to a future enrollment report, the new housing developments in Lake Forest would potentially add an additional 1,900 students to the district’s student population. The two closest high schools to these areas are El Toro and Trabuco Hills.

With the student population growth at both El Toro and Trabuco Hills, the El Toro Bleacher and Lighting Improvement Project increases availability of the two fields to more students at both schools; alleviates scheduling issues for field time; removes logistical challenges, such as student and equipment transportation to offsite fields; provides onsite health and safety for the students; and minimizes impacts to classroom time used for early dismissal for extracurricular events.

cheryl October 02, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Ian - you tell that story about declining enrollment to the elementary school students that have 35+ kids in their classrooms. The children attending SVUSD schools would be much better off & learn a lot more if the district would have redrawn the school boundary lines & spread the kids out more evenly among the existing schools. Instead, they closed 2-3 schools in one year & made those students get CRAMMED into other schools that barely had the room for 1/2 of those students that were transferred there. If the administrators actually cared about the children in their districts like they keep telling us they do so we will approve a tax increase that wont even make it to the classroom, not their own pensions, the CHILDREN would get much more benefit out of their education.
mcp October 02, 2012 at 11:18 PM
In addition to Ian's point- athletic, marching band, cheer programs are no longer supported financially by the district (except for facility use). Parents/ boosters are responsible to find ways to fund these programs. High schools that are fortunate to have lit stadiums have the opportunity to raise funds through concessions and by holding special events. This leaves the El Toro families at a huge disadvantage. For an example, Mission Viejo High hosted an invitational football event at the beginning of Sept. They charged $10.00 admission and $5.00 for parking. A large portion of those profits went back to their football program, benefiting them immensely. Many families that participate in El Toro's football program cannot afford to donate much in the way of funds to the program and rely heavily on fundraising. It is much more difficult to do so when you don't have a home field.
Ron Melnyk October 03, 2012 at 02:57 AM
To MCP, how do we know that there were profits? Has anyone you know seen the books?
Sanna Skeffington October 03, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Great letter Ian. I agree we need the field improvement. The numbers speaks volume and it will benefit both El Toro and Trabuco Hills.
mcp October 03, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Ron- From anonymous MVHS booster sources.

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