There are plans in the works for Skyline College for many of the athletic facilities to undergo massive changes-changes that are totally unnecessary.
     The plan proposed by the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD), via consultation firm Beals Sport, would convert the track into a soccer stadium. The softball/smaller soccer field would be eliminated, and a smaller track would be built in its place. Also under this plan, at least two campus athletic fields would be converted from natural grass to artificial grass.
     This proposal is absolutely absurd. First, our campus does not need a new soccer field, never mind a soccer stadium. Second, the plan would eliminate the track, a major asset to the campus. Such a renovation would be a waste of money, space, and time. Third, the elimination of the track and softball/soccer field will also help to eliminate the programs that actually use such facilities.
     The Skyline track is, by far, one of the best tracks in the Bay area. It has been a landmark to the campus for years and a resource to students, faculty, and the surrounding community.
     Originally a dirt oval, the track was updated to a rubber surface about a decade ago. So, relatively speaking, it’s a fairly new track, and is in very good condition. By eliminating the track, it almost guarantees that the college would not have a track-and-field team/program in the near future.
     District proposals are supposed to help college campuses by improving the facilities that need it most. The track is not an area of the campus worth eliminating in order to fulfill a nonexistent need-the campus already has an up-to-par track. Also, in case these people haven’t noticed, we already have a soccer field! Do we really need a whole stadium dedicated to this sport when the typical turnout per game is dismally low?
     This proposal will obviously have financial ramifications as well. Considering the state’s current budget crisis, the money would be best served in other areas. Adding a new soccer stadium, track, and new turf, should not be on the list.
     Why does the district feel that they can cut back on classes, but propose such seemingly costly plans? Naturally they are doing this for the good of the students and faculty alike, but when does it go too far?
     Will the district realize that a renovation at this point in time is a bad idea when there are no students on campus to actually use the new facilities? If a young softball lover were deciding which college to go to, she would probably not pick one that did not have softball facilities. There might be a growing demand in the near to far future to have such a facility, but it would be next to impossible to have one built up again if it is torn down, let alone to have the class.
     There are two sides to this issue: do you build on the current soccer program and expand on it at the cost of a potential softball and track-and-field programs in the near future, or do you still keep that chance open at the expense of expanding on soccer?