Lakewood High School is preparing to have a whole new look once the next school year rolls around this fall. After renovations were completed on the football field and track at Millikan, Lakewood is next in line to have their athletic facilities overhauled. The renovation project at Lakewood is set to break ground in early March, with a targeted completion date prior to the start of the new academic year on August 31.
“We really feel like this is going to be a big boost to our program,” said Chris Thompson, an assistant principal and the athletic administrator at Lakewood. “There’s such a rich tradition of athletics here at Lakewood and being part of the Lakewood community. This will go a long way to help revitalize that.”
Like the renovation projects completed at the other Moore League schools, Lakewood will be getting a new synthetic, all-weather track surrounding an artificial turf field. Additionally, the Lancers will be receiving a new scoreboard and sound system, with improvements around the facility to make it more ADA compliant.
Lakewood athletic director Mike Wadley said that the track team will have brand new hurdles to use on the track, which will be painted all red with black exchange zones. The Lancers recently unveiled a new athletics logo as part of their sponsorship agreement with adidas, and Wadley said that logo will be showcased at midfield. He credits Lakewood’s graphic design teacher Dave Schmidt for his work in updating the logo by lightening the color scheme and adding the classic Lakewood “L” on the shield.
The field design was actually a collaborative effort from the campus community. Wadley said that the Lakewood coaches, teachers, and students were all asked for feedback regarding how the new facility would look.
“I’m really excited, we’ve been planning this for three years,” Wadley said. “Our programs are getting this big shot in the arm and they’re super excited about it. It’s going to be a school-wide thing to make sure we’re taking care of it and maintaining it.”
In addition to the track & field, football, and soccer programs set to benefit from the new field, there could be another sport using the surface in the near future. Wadley said that Lakewood is planning to add a boys’ and girls’ lacrosse program once the field is installed. That means the Lancers would join Cabrillo, Millikan, Poly and Wilson with Moore League lacrosse programs.
Additional improvements around the facility include upgrading the press box, giving the stadium a fresh coat of paint, and fixing the “John Ford Stadium” sign on the backside of the bleachers.
The field project is part of broader athletics overhaul at Lakewood, with the weight room and gymnasium set to begin renovations in February of next year.
“With this, the weight room, and the gym going in in another year, there’s a lot of really good things happening,” Wadley boasted. “We’re hoping to really bring that community feel back to the school and find some creative ways to get people on campus. I’m feeling really good about it and I know a lot of people are going to be excited to see how it’s going to look.”
The Lancers are hoping to get those festivities started this fall, with a Friday night football game to open up the new facility. However, based on the events of the past year, the school administration understands the importance of having a contingency plan ready, just in case the field won’t be ready in time for football season.
“That’s our hope but we’re always planning ahead,” Thompson said. “We’ll plan out any contingencies and be ready to roll no matter what happens.”