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Temp Bleachers Installed at Helm Field

New outdoor seating ready in time for Friday night’s opening football game; new bleachers to cost about $1.2 million.

Temporary bleachers to accommodate more than 1,800 fans have been installed at's Helm Field in time for Friday night’s opening football game against Oak Grove High from San Jose.

The old stands were condemned last spring when they were deemed dilapidated and unsafe, according to school officials. The temporary bleachers will remain throughout the football season and then removed. 

The Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District Board of Trustees has approved a contract with HMC Architects to provide architectural and engineering services to replace the bleachers at an estimated cost of about $1.2 million.

At Tuesday night’s board meeting at Saratoga High School, trustees also agreed to consider additional storage for athletic equipment at Los Gatos High School that would be integrated into or built to fit between the new bleachers. 

Also during the meeting, trustees discussed the following issues:

The search for a new superintendent is gaining momentum and is right on schedule, as trustees are having two closed-door meetings on Saturday and Sunday to interview applicants. The district timetable calls for a visit by the board to the community of the lead candidate and an offer later this month with the new superintendent expected to start in October, said Board of Education President Michele H. van Zuiden.

Throughout the superintendent search process, trustees have been committed to obtaining community input about the qualities desired in the next leader of the 3,100-plus student district, van Zuiden added.

To that end, the search firm Leadership Associates conducted two public forums to give the community, staff and students an opportunity to share their thoughts about the qualities of the next superintendent.

They also heard from the community via phone calls, emails and letters. As a result, the search consultants and board received input from more than 70 residents. The input will be used as trustees  screen candidates, interview and make their final selection, van Zuiden said.

Trustees also agreed that the district should continue to declare Los Gatos High School closed to open enrollment for the 2012‐13 school year, based on enrollment projections and school capacity.

The capacity for Los Gatos High School is 1,768, and the enrollment as of Aug. 31 is 1,780, according to district reports.

During the 2010-11 open-enrollment period, 11 students from Los Gatos applied for and were granted permission to transfer to Saratoga High School. This, however, was not an option for students living in the Saratoga High School attendance area who wanted to go to Los Gatos last school year and will not be an option for the 2012-13 school year, trustees said.

In addition, feeder school enrollment in Los Gatos continues to show growth for future incoming classes. Interim District Superintendent Bob Mistele added that  eighth-grade enrollment is 480 students, and the senior class at Los Gatos High School is 405 students.

There was also a discussion regarding the video recording of all board meetings. Mistele asked for the board’s direction regarding the placing of an order for equipment costing an estimated $1,800 and developing a contractual agreement with a television station for filming at each board meeting.

Van Zuiden said, “I’d rather go slow, see how it is all working, try [videotaping meetings] for the first year and see if people are watching.”

The board agreed that moving forward with a videotape program was a good idea but that further information was needed with respect to cost before a decision could be made.

Finally, trustees are starting the new school year with two new student board representatives who will bring the student perspective to board meetings. They are, a senior at Los Gatos High School, and Joanna Lee, a junior at Saratoga High School.

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