Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015 | 2 a.m.
Since 2007, Bishop Gorman High School has grown from a cramped private school in the middle of old Las Vegas to a sprawling, state-of-the-art campus in Summerlin.
Among the areas where the school's upgraded are the facilities for its athletics program, the most sophisticated in Nevada.
The school has on its 56-acre campus two turf football fields — one of which is used by the school’s lacrosse team — a baseball field, a softball field, a soccer field, two gymnasiums, a professional training complex and 10 tennis courts.
Now, Gorman plans to add a 38,000-square-foot aquatic center to that list. Plans for the complex were approved by the Clark County Commission earlier this month.
But as private schools like Bishop Gorman and Faith Lutheran expand their high school athletics facilities to dizzying heights, you might wonder where the average public school stacks up.
The answer is not very well, though a number of schools in the Clark County School District are making positive strides.
Almost every high school in CCSD has its own field located on campus, complete with bleachers. The only exceptions are Las Vegas Academy and Sandy Valley School west of Primm. The school, which includes grades elementary through high school, plays its home games on a dusty patch of grass a half-mile west of the campus. With a few exceptions, CCSD schools don’t field lacrosse teams. Meanwhile, Bishop Gorman’s Fertitta Field resembles a small college stadium, with a section of chair-backed seating and a two-story training complex.
Most CCSD high schools have soccer fields, but they are often very basic and tend to be put wherever there is available space. Seating is usually limited to a few small bleachers.
Due to Title IX, the federal law requiring that schools provide the same athletic facilities for girls that they do for boys, each CCSD high school has both a baseball and softball field. Both fields tend to have a few bleachers and some even have extras like batting cages.
Besides a handful of outdoor basketball courts, CCSD high schools have standard gymnasiums which play host to home basketball and volleyball games as well as provide locker room space. Once again, Sandy Valley was the rare exception with a portable gym that housed a basketball court with plastic flooring. That changed this fall when the district broke ground on a long-awaited new gymnasium.
Last year Cimarron-Memorial High School turned heads with a new 3,500-square-foot weight room, about twice as large as the weight rooms in average CCSD schools. Weight rooms tend to vary throughout the district, with some schools putting what little equipment they have in the auto shop. That’s a far cry from private schools like Bishop Gorman and Faith Lutheran, who both have sophisticated weight training facilities on campus. In its 41,000-square-foot training complex, Bishop Gorman even has a hydrotherapy pool and ice bath, as well as a video viewing room.
Most public high schools don't have close access to swimming pools. Exceptions are Boulder City and Palo Verde.