Talk of the impending construction and joint--use agreement caused stirrings of concern among trustees Tuesday night. School board member Mary Boger was worried about lighting the soccer field and the basketball courts that are on the campus.
"If we put lights on that field it will be used seven days a week and there will be no grass on that field," Boger said. "And if we put lights on those courts, how do we protect those [school] buildings? I'm just a little leery and I am concerned how these issues will be addressed when they come up."
The biggest challenge will be determining liability and responsibility, trustee Greg Krikorian said.
"If someone gets hurt who's liable?" he asked. "What about parking-area security? That is our property and it's there to support teachers and parents. Who will secure that area after school?"
Existing fields are so crowded they often pit youth teams against adult soccer teams who fight for practice time and the park could help alleviate that, said Krikorian, who volunteers to coach youth athletic teams.
Board members Pam Ellis and Joylene Wagner were cautiously optimistic, saying the benefits of a park far outweigh grappling with a joint-use agreement.
"We designed the school with the park in mind," said Ellis.
The district used Measure K funds to remodel the school with the long-term goal of adding a park on the south side where Brand Boulevard and San Fernando Road meet.
"I'm confident we will work out the issues," Wagner said. "There will be bumps along the way but we will work them out."
The city will probably not pay for lighting on the campus but would pick up the tab for anything in the park, Mayor Dave Weaver said.
He was not concerned about the joint-use agreement because the city is involved in so many they are a matter of routine, he said.
"The whole idea is that it's a cooperative thing so it's not an antagonistic thing," Weaver said. "We're both sharing the same area or portions of it and I'm not looking at the legalese part of it like attorneys would. The one thing we all agree on is it's a great site."
The park will be open to the public during school hours, with the parking lot shared between the public and teachers.
The field, courts and play facilities will be open to the public evenings and weekends, city officials have said.
The park will include a half-acre lawn, bathrooms, storage facilities, a toddler playground, shaded tables and benches, and a water-play area.
A gas station and the Armenian Youth Assn. Committee offices will remain on the site, and an access point to the park will be granted to the committee.