Redlands East Valley parents have formed a REV Athletic Stadium Coalition to work with the district in fundraising efforts to build a stadium.
Opened in 1997, Redlands East Valley is the only one of the three generaal purpose high schools that doesn’t have a stadium.
Members of the coalition include REV parents Laura Mapes, Jill Green and Melissa Campos as well as school board member Jim O’Neil and Jason Hill, assistant superintendent of business services.
“Stadium planning is going well, but we have to practice patience,” said Mapes. “My fellow parents want it done now, but we have to remember there is a lengthy process.”
Mapes said the district has sent requests from architects.
“We are waiting on estimates,” she said. “Then we can assess how much money the district has to spend, and we can start asking for donations. We don’t think it will be hard getting donations now that we have actual plans to move forward. We are working on presentations.”
Mapes said the coalition also wants to stop any rumors about past stadium plans.
“There have been so many rumors over the years about why REV still doesn’t have a stadium,” said Mapes. “Parents have heard things like noise and light concerns and turf being more dangerous than grass, which aren’t true. The most glaring rumor is the district doesn’t like REV. These are ridiculous and need to be put to rest.”
Mapes said she met with Mauricio Arellano during his first year as superintendent in 2017 and hasn’t forgotten the passion he showed.
“The first thing he said to me was every high school needs a stadium,” said Mapes. “We talked for three hours about many things, even though I only had a 30-minute appointment. The stadium is dear to him. He wants his district to look great. Since he has been here, we have had new school entrances built, buildings painted, air conditioning units installed, he gets things done everywhere.”
Mapes said the coalition is making sure to follow state protocols on asking for donations.
“We don’t plan on becoming a 501c,” she said. “Any checks will be made out to the district. We want to keep a good financial record.”
Donations made to the school district for public purposes are tax deductible, says the IRS.
Mapes said she and her fellow parents started the coalition to work with the district.
“It doesn’t help to just scream at board meetings,” she said.
O’Neill, whose Area 5 includes REV, said he volunteered to be on the coalition.
“This is a great idea and a great step forward,” he said. “There are some wonderful people on the coalition. We want to be able to fundraise and work with alumni and businesses.”
O’Neill said the district is still gathering proposals.