Monarchs dig new home turf

Valley College athletics is set to start 2016 on a high with new state of the art facilities.

By Henry Guembes, Staff Writer

Brand new baseball fields, a modern Monarch Athletic Center and a crisp Community Service Center headline Valley College’s state of the art additions.

The latest sports structure that has just been completed at Valley is the Monarch Athletic Center located between the football field and the Community Service Center. Construction of the 25,000-square-foot building was concluded late last year. The MAC is set to house the locker room and weight room for Valley’s football, women’s soccer, baseball and softball teams.

“It’s been a long time coming—we’ll miss the old ones because there are a lot of great memories there,” said Athletic Director Jim Fenwick. “But it certainly helps to show these new facilities to people wanting to come to this school. The ultimate goal is to have student-athletes come through Valley and directly out to 4-year universities.”

The old gymnasium and Community Service Center has stood at Valley College since 1947; they are set to be demolished in late February.

Other additions since 2015 include the new Community Service Center and new baseball and softball fields in the southeast end of campus.

The Community Service Center contains 20,000 square feet of usable space and includes a computer lab for student-athletes, a gymnastics center, a dance/exercise studio, a rock climbing wall and more. The computer lab is used as an athletics study hall during the day and an instructional classroom at night.

The baseball and softball fields feature synthetic grass, which offers a greener approach in the midst of the drought in Southern California. The exterior of these fields are surrounded by rugged hybrid Bermuda grass, which does not require much water. Ultimately these fields give Valley an edge when the weather is rough due to water-resistant turf and also help avoid “hoppers” bouncing off bumpy grass patches.

“The field is really nice,” said catcher Rigo Torres. “It’s an all turf field so we have an advantage on rainy days—if it rains the day before, the field dries up in time for us to still practice.”

Valley has taken advantage of this renovation to seek greener approaches within these new amenities.

“Essentially these new facilities are replacing old space previously occupied by the old gymnasium and community center,” Fenwick said. “Soon they’re going to take those down and make way for a parking and pick up-drop off area.”

The addition of these facilities have been funded through the $6 billion Los Angeles Community College Building Program. Valley College is one of nine colleges that make up the LACCD.

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