School Board Tours Antioch High in Anticipation of Measure J Passage

By Dolly Ogawa-Amsk

The Antioch Unified School District and the Bond Issue C Oversight Committee held a joint Special Meeting at Antioch High School for a tour of the facilities so that board members, interested public and the Committee could see the improvements achieved by the funds from initiative C, which passed four years ago. It was important to show what improvements are still needed to bring the facility up to the current modern standards because of the proposed Bond Issue J on the June ballot.

Antioch High School was built in 1954 and has really needed improvements and repairs to help the students, and faculty as they move the high school programs toward current standards. The newest improvements will improve the link learning that connects students to career pathways. The architectural and engineering department has changed what was almost a print warehouse into a positive learning space. The old industrial building has new life and the plastics shop and the warehouse are history. The improved art department features a ceramic studio and working space that is attractive and practical. The old electronics lab with its outdated equipment is gone. Some of the equipment was so old that it could only be salvaged for the metal.

Problems still remain. The swimming pool built in the 50’s is not suitable for meets or any competitions. It was the community pool for years where citizens learned to swim. It is still used by the school for basic swimming and diving but it is not suitable for any competition. The North Coast Section and CIF (California Inter-Scholastic Federation) will not allow competitions, because the pool is measured in yards, and meets are now measured in meters. Also it is only 3’ deep at the shallow end which makes it impossible for water polo. It is not being used right now because it is being repaired for leaks. The pool needs to be replaced so that Antioch can host other teams.

There is a similar problem with the track and field teams. Once around the track is 440 yards. The standard is 400 meters. The other problem is that it is a dirt track and the standard high school tracks are rubberized. This is because the old dirt track can cause athletes shin splints. Until Antioch has the correct dimensions and a rubberized track, they don’t meet the spesifications, so they can’t host teams and events.

“It’s time for people to step up and support…” Principal Louie Rocha said, “Time to make an investment for our children.” Rocha is an alumnus of Antioch High School, and so are his children. He believes that there are many alumni living in Antioch who will support the move forward to the 21st Century by supporting Measure J in June.

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