Belmont High students, staff and elected officials, including Councilman Eric Garcetti, will gather tonight to dedicate a $1 million dollar overhaul of the school’s Montgomery Field, which now features a new field of artificial turf, running track and scoreboard. The replacement of grass with plastic is a break with tradition and triggered concern because of limits imposed on public access, reports The Sentinel, Belmont’s student newspaper. But the artificial turf will save thousands of dollars a year in maintenance costs, and many students at the school, which serves Echo Park and Historic Filipinotown, will not miss the dusty and muddy sections of the old field. Tonight’s grand opening will be followed up on Sept. 23 with a ceremony to celebrate the renaming of the entire stadium in honor of former teacher Dentler Erdmann, who is scheduled to be on hand for the event.
It still remains to be seen whether the million dollars worth of improvement to Montgomery Field will improve the results for Belmont athletics. Last week, the Belmont Sentinels lost to the rival Marshall High Barristers 50 -18.