Story by Hayley Lawson
Concept drawings for the brand new athletics complex were presented by the facilities department to the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee on March 1.
The athletics complex will be located on the south side of campus, and is expected to cost nearly $100 million, with the funds coming out of the Prop M bond, voted on by voters in 2006.
The new Athletics complex will include a new gymnasium, coach offices that overlook designated fields, a new football stadium, softball field, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, and an aquatics complex.
Head football coach, Joe Early, is one of the members on the committee for the new complex.
“It’s not like we’re going to put another bond out for athletics, so we have to get it right the first time,” Early said. “Hopefully, we can do that.”
Palomar serves approximately 400 to 600 student-athletes that require up-to-date facilities. This new complex will work to provide these athletes with the best possible equipment so they can perform to the best of their ability.
Coach Early believes every student, not just athletes will benefit from the new athletics complex.
With a new pool, weight room, and locker room area, the new complex will provide the campus community with clean and new facilities.
“We have a lot of coaches on campus in different sports that have gone to school here and competed on the athletic teams and had an opportunity to get their education paid for.” Early said, “This is a great stepping stone…it’s going to benefit not only the students…it’s gonna benefit the student-athletes, and it’s also gonna benefit the community.”
Freshman quarterback, Shea Morales, commented on his excitement for the upcoming changes.
“I think it’s going to attract more people, cause we already got a really nice, big campus,” Morales said, “A lot of people come here, so upgrading all of our sports stuff should definitely attract more people.”
Early mentioned that the athletics department has seldom changed since he was a student at Palomar.
“When you’re trying to recruit a student-athlete from a high school to here, and their facilities are better than ours, it makes it difficult,” Early said, “they’re upgrading facilities that we’ve never even had, so it’s really important that we have good athletic facilities here.”
Coach Early mentioned that “being brought into the 21st century” is something the coaches and athletes are very excited about.
Johnny Armentrout, a freshman wide receiver for the Palomar football team, looks forward to seeing the overall design and is excited to see how it will benefit everyone.
“I think it’s gonna offer more improvement, and just the overall facilities are gonna allow more room and just give people more opportunities, a different venue, it’s a good upgrade,” Armentrout said.
Although the construction isn’t expected to be complete until 2022, the word of the new complex is spreading fast leaving Palomar coaches, teachers, and athletes eager to see what Prop M has in store for the athletics department.
Due to funding and phasing reasons, the new soccer and baseball fields were treated as separate projects and were completed in 2015.
The new baseball field gave everyone a sneak peek on what the campus community is to expect with the rest of the upgraded sports complex. An entirely new field, stadium seating, dugouts, restrooms, and lighted batting cages with bullpens.
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