Quad Sod Resurrected after Construction

Fiona Deane-Grundman, Staff Writer

Grass is growing again in the quad thanks to campus gardener Oscar Verduzco. While the Multi-Use facility was under construction the water supply to the quad was cut off.  Now that construction has been completed, irrigation is back.

“The other grass died and the only reason we want to bring [it] back is because we want the school to look nice,” explained Verduzco. He added that the water supply was cut off “all summer and all year,” the entire duration of the construction.

The bald dirt areas that once offered comfortable grass seating to students at lunch were missed. “Most of the parents, last year in the school, they’d always say, Hey, what happened to the grass?‘” said Verduzco.

“When you walk in the quad, the green is a good look. That looks nice and clean,” he added.

“The students say, ‘Ah, nice, the grass is coming back!'” Verduzco said.

“But before, when [there was] no grass, [they’d say], what happened here? It looked ugly,” Verduzco said, so “we started regrowing it.”

Verduzco said now is a fitting time to begin the process. “The weather is not cold and there’s still sun. It was a good time. But this past year this time at this month it was hard to bring it back,”explained Verduzco.

According to custodian Ben Wadsworth, 3 weeks ago a machine called the Aerator, which aerates soil, was run to “put holes in the ground.”

“We put thousands of holes in [the ground] and the seed fell in the holes and we’ve had rain,” said Wadsworth.

Verduzco added that “a lot of water, every morning for a couple of minutes,” has helped quicken the growth.

“We had to do a lot of stuff to bring it back,” Verduzco said.  This included repairing some of the aging irrigation lines.

Wadsworth added, “They had to fix a lot of pipes out here. They had to fix pipes and sprinkler heads.”

“With the weather and the warmth it’s just been popping back,” Wadsworth said. “It’s been fast.”

Verduzco estimated that within 2 weeks to a month, the quad will be restored to its former beauty.

Freshman Florian Michael-Schwarzinger is eager for the sod to be ready for use. “The grass will be very green and luscious,” he said. He can’t wait to “lie underneath the trees” at lunch.

A change in the weather could delay the growing process. “If the weather changes we’ll have to wait until next year because when it’s cold the grass sleeps,” explained Verduzco. “It hibernates,” added Wadsworth.

The MU construction impacted other campus landscape as well. According to Verduzco, “Two bushes died because of no water. There are no flowers.”

However, the funding for regrowing damaged or dead foliage has been limited. “My boss didn’t want me to spend too much money on the grass to bring it back,” said Verduzco. The project was funded and managed by the AUHSD district, according to finance technician Shelly Hadley.