As local parents have expressed serious concerns about construction at Lincoln Middle School track and field, rumors have spread that the field will be closed to residents and the synthetic field is being made of used tires. These rumors are not true according to district officials.

The field and track at Lincoln Middle School is currently under renovation and will reopen when construction is complete. However, parents and local residents have shown concern by emailing Superintendent Ben Drati as well as posting signs near Lincoln Middle School.

At the recent Santa Monica – Malibu Unified School District School Board monthly meeting resident and parent Roger Diamond expressed his concern about Lincoln Middle School track and field.

“It is disheartening to see that Lincoln Middle School is basically disappearing in terms of access to the field or track. As we grow old we still like to play on the field and throw a ball around,” said Diamond.

He said local residents are furious with the construction and the possibility they will no longer have access to the field, especially for those local weekend warriors.

Due to the Brown Act, school board members are not allowed to respond to items that are not part of the official agenda. However Superintendent Drati responded and said,  “I am aware of the concerns, and have been receiving emails, also I have seen what has been posted out there about what people think that we are doing. I will say that is absolutely false.”

The track will be reopened to the general public and everyone will continue to have access to the track and field when school is not session, or permitted sports are taking place. SMMUSD plans to reopen the track by January 2018.

In a recent press release from SMMUSD Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati said, “Our intent is to continue to provide time for use of the Lincoln field, track and basketball courts by the general public when it is not permitted for organized sports. Installation of field lighting will provide additional opportunities for permit groups and the general public to use this much-needed open space during non school hours.”

Lincoln Middle School is one of the renovation projects SMMUSD is currently working on. The project consists of converting the existing grass field to synthetic turf with cork infill. There will be no crumb rubber. There will also be construction of the track to a synthetic track, along with upgraded restroom facilities and the return of field lights.

In 2003 the City and SMMUSD partnered together to prompt a Joint Use Agreement for recreational facilities at Lincoln Middle School.

The agreement allows the City to utilize SMMUSD facilities for community programs during non-school hours including permitting the fields for organized youth sports groups.

Parents, staff and community members may contact Carey Upton, Chief Operations Officer for more information, cupton@smmusd.org .

marina@smdp.com

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