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Grizzlies Team Up With Pilots to Gain Home Field Advantage — and Promote Airport Safety!

Updated: Jul 7, 2019

Pajaro Valley Unified School District and the Watsonville Pilots Association have joined forces to advocate for the long-awaited Pajaro Valley High School Athletic Field and Auditorium Projects. The District’s Board and the Watsonville Pilot’s Association Board have both unanimously voted to approve an agreement in which the parties committed to work together to move the campus developments forward in the most protective manner from an airport safety perspective. The partnership results in a win-win for both groups and progress for the community.

Dr. Rodriguez, Superintendent of PVUSD, stated, “The District is thrilled its work with the Pilots Association will pave the way forward for these critical construction projects, and the whole team is very excited PVHS’s students will finally be able to enjoy the complete high school experience. We are dedicated to exploring all avenues that would facilitate additional progress in that direction.”

The WPA initiated communications after the School District proposed designing and locating the development within the existing footprint of the school. Due to the unique circumstances involved at the High School Site, this accord allows the High School to have a complete campus, while committing the School District to implement safety features which will protect the students, the public, and the pilots. As part of the deal, School District will assist the City in reducing vertical obstacles and/or install approach lighting which will benefit planes in their final decent into the airport. The reduction offers pilots an alternative flight path for approach to the airport which alleviates concerns regarding the proximity the proposed playing field to the airport safety zone.

John Randolph, WPA Legal Affairs Liaison, stated, “The Airport Safety features in the Agreement will benefit the students, the public, and the pilots. We appreciate District Superintendent Michele Rodriguez for having the vision and skill to know how to negotiate a way forward. The WPA will work actively with the School District to obtain the approvals needed.”

The Athletic Field Project will replace existing fields with an updated regulation size track and football field facility with accompanying press box and concession stand. The improvements will provide PVHS students with the opportunity to practice and compete on their own turf for the first time. The 15,000 square foot, 450 seat auditorium will be used for a variety of school functions including visual and performing arts performances. For more information about either project, please visit

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