Sonoma High School does not need a new sports stadium

Posted on May 6, 2020 by Sonoma Valley Sun
I read with utter dismay and shock that the school district officials approved the $15 million dollar sports arena for the high school on Tuesday night (May 5, 2020).
It is interesting to me that they convened a meeting on this issue, at this time, without the benefit of spectators and the community being able to weigh in on this very controversial subject. What could they have been thinking — maybe they were not!
In this time of crisis with all of us trying to protect ourselves, our loved ones, the community and our future, it confounds me that these officials would deem it necessary to take a vote now! We do not even know what the future will look like for our classrooms, our students or our teachers. We have so many more needs for education than the construction of a stadium, especially during this pandemic. What is the rush to get construction underway this summer?
I ask you, where has common sense gone? In my opinion, it seems to “be out the window” with no apparent concern for our current environment.
— Laurie Sebesta, Sonoma

8 thoughts on “Sonoma High School does not need a new sports stadium

  1. As a resident of over 50 years, this is long overdue. As a Sonoma High graduate, class of 1980, I used these same sporting facilities. When Sonoma athletes go out of town, they see towns and facilities who had. Little foresight to plan and build modern facilities for there kids. Our kids deserve at least this. I don’t recognize your name, so I don’t believe you had the pleasure of a Sonoma High education. Our kids and our city deserve to get jnto the 21st century sports facility wise.

  2. Just wondering if you had attended and voiced your opinion at last nights meeting or any of the previous meetings which were all open to the public? This is something that has been needed for decades. It’s time to invest in something that will further the future of our children, instill pride in our school and connect our community. The timing is unfortunate, but it was time. This has been reviewed, debated and revised so many times. And the public has been welcome to attend, ask questions, and give their opinion. Our world may have changed, but sports, athletics and community bonding will be back.

    I respect your opinion, and of course I have my own. I just am so sad at how many angry and vile comments I have heard about this for the last few years. Our students deserve more. Sonoma Valley High School can’t even host league events in our own town. What kind of pride can these students and community have around that?

  3. Hey Laurie

    Give it a rest. The meeting was highly publicized, and the topic was on the official agenda. The meeting was highly attended by many virtually and the topic has been debated long enough.
    It was originally approved by tax paying voters many years ago.

    The kids of this community deserve it and a lot more, so go find another topic to complain about. I own properties in the valley pay a lot of taxes and am happy to see this finally get going. The school facilities are a joke when compared to comparable schools in the area.

    And if you were so concerned about this maybe you should have voiced your opinion where it mattered, at the meeting. But I don’t recall seeing your name on the zoom register at the meeting.



  4. I agree with everything you stated, Laurie Sebesta. Without knowing where this pandemic will steer how our children will be taught, what classrooms will look after this pandemic, it is absurd and irresponsible to throw this kind of money at a school stadium that may not ever be used in the manner that is envisioned. And the kicker is that this was approved almost covertly.

  5. What our kids need is a high school whose accreditation is not threatened, a Principal who stays longer than nine months, an innovative school board, and a better academic program than the one that results in only 34 percent of students possessing a proficiency in math. Sure, a new sports complex would be nice, but as comfy as it might be watching the high school football team compete on a new field, know that two-thirds of the players on that field can’t pass basic algebra.

  6. Even before the coronavirus, there was declining enrollment, low academic test scores, and a revolving door of principals, yet a stadium takes priority?

  7. High school fields are simply another type of classroom. Sonoma Valley High School’s fields (and Arnold Field where some of the teams play) are the most dangerous – and that’s no hyperbole – in Northern California for students to play on, thanks to uneven turf, gophers and more. The practice fields behind the high school are no different. The fields are similar to art class rooms, theater/auditorium rooms, band rooms, labs, and so on. In other words, they are part of the education process. Those who attend Sonoma Valley High deserve good facilities. Given the property values of the homes here, it’s criminal to deny our young people a place to learn and prepare for life. I am thrilled the project is moving forward. It’s a shame the naysayers have been able to deny it this long.

  8. I grew up here and raised kids here and Arnold field was and still is the laughing stock of the league even west county has a better sports facility than us. In a town full of millionaires our parents and student body has to walk through the mud to walk up bleachers then sit in the mess that the other student walking through the same mud left behind?? It’s about time. Sonoma

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