Friday Night Lights for CHS?

A town hall meeting Thursday will hear both sides in the discussion on the installation of football field lights, bleachers and sound system at Carlmont High School.


The Sequoia Union High School District  (SUHSD) board of trustees will hold a town hall meeting Thursday at to gather public input on a proposal to install permanent lights on school's the main football field.

The meeting will be held Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Carlmont Student Union. 

In addition to the lights, the proposed project calls for an additional set of bleachers, a new amplification system, and turf replacement on the field.

"We want to get all the input we can from the community," said SUHSD board president Alan Sarver at last week's Belmont City Council meeting. He added that meeting notices have been sent to residents in the vicinity of the school's campus on the Belmont/San Carlos border.

Sarver also noted that a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) study is underway. 

Parking and traffic, which has been an ongoing issue along Alameda de las Pulgas, will also be discussed at the town hall meeting. 

"This is a partnership opportunity with the San Carlos School District, in sharing parking with Terra Linda across the street from Carlmont," said Sarver. "We are looking for ideas to help improve traffic flow in front of the school."

What: Town hall meeting to discuss field lights at Carlmont High School

When: Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.

Where: Carlmont High School Student Union, 1400 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont

Dub step February 01, 2012 at 01:22 AM
I live across from CHS. Every morning I watch as kids are dropped off and meet up with others and smoke weed. I have yelled at kids to stop drinking (yes) on some mornings and have called police. They litter Alameda with Mcdonalds bags. Where is the supervision from school staff??? Can not imagine night games. Last one we watched kids drinking and smoking and kicking cars.
Joan S. Dentler (Editor) February 01, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Thanks for your input Dub Step. Will you be attending the meeting on Thursday?
Steve Hayes February 01, 2012 at 03:12 AM
When this has come up before, the lights have been the issue- concern that people around Chula Vista and perhaps some on Club Drive would be bothered. I think it is an interesting idea - teenagers would have supervised activity on some Friday nights and everyone might have more opportunity to use the track at night(adults after work). I wonder what the experience has been at Sequoia - has it worked or not? I walk by Carlmont 2-3 times a weeks and I do not see the litter problem mentioned by Dub step ( I walk on the east side of Alamede near the houses).
Joan S. Dentler (Editor) February 01, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Steve, Carlmont is the only school in the district not to have lighted sports fields. Menlo- Atherton's were recently installed, and the other schools' (Sequoia, Woodside) have been there for years.
Steve Hayes February 01, 2012 at 03:37 AM
To me it seems like we are wasting a valuable resource by not adding lights. They spent well over a million dollars to add a rubberized track and an all weather field. Very few people outside of the school get to use the facility during the winter because it gets dark too early. We can not afford to cover the Sports Complex with artifical turf but CHS field is already there and could get more use if there were some lights.
Jeff Selman February 01, 2012 at 06:59 AM
I live on Chula Vista just up the street from CHS. Students park in front of my house every morning. Years ago, I learned how to adjust to the traffic patterns. It is not that difficult, and comes with living close to the school. I commend the school on its outreach on this issue and hope to attend Thursday night. I will listen to what is presented, but I am likely to be supportive of what the school wants to do with the field. I use the field with my children, and I see others in the neighborhood do the same. People already attend the football games and other activities, and I appreciate knowing that the students are engaged in fun. I do not, however, appreciate the flyer that someone left at my house today trying to organize to fight. While people may be opposed to the plans, they should be honest and forthright in their opposition, and not make up arguments such as what is stated on this flyer, which suggests that the field work should be opposed because it "sets precedent to expand to middle and elementary schools" and if built will mean "more traffic and congestion from early morning". I hope that whoever is distributing this flyer intends to back up these claims that field lights and bleachers will result in early morning use of the field at such a level as to increase traffic, or will motivate either BRSSD or SCSD to suddenly decide to build their own stadiums.
Carrie February 01, 2012 at 07:42 AM
As a resident on Valerga and Alameda I do see this being a problem. I agree with Dub on most issues. The students sit on grassy area of my building and smoke pot in the morning, lady in my building has taken pictures and says she will post on you.tube. Most litter is on the west side Alameda and Valerga and Garden streets. Students treat apartment streets like dump, they cannot get away with that near homes on Chula or El Verano. Most noticeable problem is boys yelling every morning on way from grass area to school, seem drunk
Alice Stoddard February 01, 2012 at 08:06 AM
I'm sure there are a lot of kids at Carlmont who have legitmate Medical ailments that require frequent treatment of medical marijuana. Please don't deny them this important medicine. The McDonalds wrappers are just a small side effect.
Jay February 01, 2012 at 03:12 PM
While I am sure that Carlmont, just like any other academic facility has their share of unruly children, the issue here is not whether those particular students should have an impact on the facility lighting the field and adding/upgrading a sound system. The issue to be discussed now is the impact (both positive and negative) on the neighborhood should the proposed actions take place. I live just up the hill from Carlmont and spend most weekends listening to the sounds from sporting events at the local fields and parks - Carlmont, Tierra Linda, the field near Charles Armstrong school. The soccer games, softball games and football games all have the normal game sounds - cheers, yelling, and sometimes music that float up the hill and sometimes it sounds as if these activities are taking place in my yard. While occasionally I do get slightly annoyed at the early Sunday morning wake up call I get from the announcement of each pop warner football player, it comes with the territory and I knew the schools were in close proximity when the house was purchased. My family has also benefitted from the ability to walk to/from school (so we were not adding to the traffic nightmare of Alameda and SC Ave) and I have seen a lot of public use of the facilities at Carlmont as I walk by. For me, the benefits outweigh the negatives. I urge all that have any concerns to attend the mtg hosted by Carlmont and learn the facts before making a judgement call.
Justin February 01, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Jay--thank you for engaging in an intelligent discussion. Dubstep and Alice are trying to be funny, but do they expect people to believe what they allege? I think not. The issues, as Jay said, is lights.
Jeff Selman February 01, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Agreed with Justin, and thank you Jay for rational discourse. I hope that many from Belmont and San Carlos come to the meeting to engage in the discussion, and that we do not dissolve into fearmongering. This should not be Koret Field redux. There are legitimate positives and negatives in improving the field at CHS, and the focus should be on those issues that any change could bring, and not instead either the acts of a few students or an immediate reaction to reject just because their is a change proposed.
Jimmy February 02, 2012 at 07:20 AM
This would be a problem since this school is part of The Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD). That district brings in students from RWC and EPA East Palo Alto. The school should district with San Mateo Unified, problem solved.
larry February 02, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Hello everyone, I live on Club Drive and also received the notification of the SUHSD plan to install lights and a new sound system. The benefit to the community is totally subjective and I would argue that there will be additional events will reduce our access to the field. That said, there are really three main issues here that need to be discussed 1) Traffic Circulation 2) Noise 3) Parking. On traffic: San-Carlos / Belmont has been dealing with the traffic issues on Alameda for years and during rush hour it can take 30 + minutes to go from Club to Ralson. Traffic circulation has only gotten worse since they added the bike lanes. So is the city of Belmont planning to have police control the traffic during events? Are they considering putting in a traffic light at Chula Vista to keep traffic moving or remove the bikes lanes? The noise issue can probably be resolved if the city-counsel passes an ordinance on permitting limited use of the PA system from 5 - 8 and limiting the decibals as to not impact the community. My only fear with that is that once the lights are in they can change the ordinance over time as people get use to the change. Some people have families and kids that go to bed early and the sound from the PA systems will bounce off the hills. In sum, does SUHSD board really undertand the challenges such action will have on the community and are we inviting people from adaject cities that may not share the same level of respect for this quiet town.


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