MARINA, Calif. -
Community members and education leaders cut the ribbon Sunday celebrating a new facility at Los Arboles Middle School they said is long overdue.
"We're really, really in need of places here in Marina for kids to be able to come out and exercise and do their group sports,” said Marina resident Christina Medina-Dirkson. “For kids to come out on a nice new field is really great."
Officials said it’s the first track in Marina and will be the first home football field for Marina High School.
"For the families here amongst this small community I feel that it helps out a lot so that they don't have to continuously travel and or use space on the baseball field, or combine practices on the soccer field as well," said Reggie Johnson of marina.
The new field will also give kids something better to do with their time.
"They can get out the house and have fun,” said Los Arboles Middle School Student Exavier Wells. “Be with their friends instead of being on their phones all day."
"It helps us be more coordinated and organized and it just looks good as a field," said Jaquiese Purcell, “Los Arboles Middle School student.
The new space is also part of Monterey Peninsula Unified School Districts energy conservation program. The built in state of the art irrigation will use a lot less water.
"Since December 2012 we've reduced our energy use by 31.7 percent which is cost avoidance of the utility budget going back into the general fund of $3.6 million," said David Chandler, MPUSD Renewable Energy Coordinator.
The field and mini track will be open to the public when school is out, helping bridge the gap between students and the community.
"It definitely promotes a sense of wellness and well-being for our entire community,” said MPUSD Superintendent PK Diffenbaugh. “We're trying to break down these artificial barriers between school day and non-school day. In actuality our kids are learning all the time, there's opportunities to learn all the time and we need to take advantage of that."
Groups and organizations can also reserve this field and other MPUSD facilities.