Renovations Coming to Zaepfel Stadium

The benches are worn at Zaepfel Stadium, the lights are failing, and the track is older than any of the students at Eisenhower High School.

But all of that is changing in the coming months.

"We've been driving this issue for a number of years, so absolutely," said science teacher and main spearheader, Phil English, "It was a very important day, I was very-very happy and I slept well last night."

Last night, the Yakima school board unanimously approved a measure to begin renovations to the aging facility -- citing student safety as the major factor.

The renovation, which is not expected to exceed $4.5 million, is slated to begin in May and should wrap up in the fall.

Updating the 50 year old facility, which is located next to Ike, has been a big topic in the school district for almost 5 years.

"We use it for a lot of different events," said Superintendent Elaine Beraza, "And when you consider that it is a Davis, Ike and a community facility, because has had a usage of our facilities, it's something that needs to be done."

Those who oppose the renovation argue that money could be used to fund the arts program and also be funneled into Davis High School's current remodel.

However, most people support the renovation and say it's about time.

"I've always viewed athletics, whatever the sport being, as co-curricular, not necessarily as extracurricular," said English, "Even though people may see it as extracurricular, I see this as an extension of the classroom."

Beraza says the school district will hold future meetings to discuss exactly where the funding would come from to help offset the renovation costs.