LOMPOC, Calif. - The Lompoc Unified School District and the Audacious Foundation announced the opening of a new track and field at Hapgood Elementary this week.
Hapgood's new track is already available for use by the community during non-school hours.
The idea for the track came about after Audacious Foundation leaders made a recent visit to Hapgood. During the visit, the leaders learned that students were unable to play on school fields due to a gopher infestation.
Gopher holes are known to cause uneven ground and holes which pose as a risk of injury to students. In response, the Audacious Foundation offered to cover half the cost of a new track and gopher-proof playing field for the school.
“It’s a real shame to have a big grass field at a school and then tell kids and neighbors they can’t play on it,” said Paul Orfalea, founder of the Audacious Foundation. “Exercise, play, and movement are fundamental to a healthy childhood, and a child’s health is fundamental to learning and reaching their full potential.”
Hapgood Elementary Principal Carmen Chavez and District Maintenance and Operations Director Douglas Sorum, both Lompoc natives, put the Foundation’s offer of support to good use: soliciting bids, selecting a contractor and completing the project in less than six months.
“Our students and the whole community deserve a safe place for healthy recreational activities,” said Doug Sorum. “We could not be more thankful for the support of the Audacious Foundation.”
The Audacious Foundation covered 50% of the cost of the project which amounted to just under $80,000.
The Audacious Foundation says it invests in non-academic programs that focus on whole-child education. This includes outdoor education, school gardens, arts and dance, science camps and orthodontia.
The Audacious Foundation supports activities at 12 schools throughout the Santa Barbara County, now including Hapgood Elementary this school year.
The opening of the new track and field at Hapgood Elementary comes on the heels of a successful community effort to renovate Huyck Stadium at Lompoc High School. A groundbreaking ceremony was held to celebrate that major effort this past December.
For more information about the track and field at Hapgood Elementary please contact Bree Valla, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources at LUSD at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Audacious Foundation, please visit www.audaciousfoundation.org.