Just before Christmas, Northgate High School broke ground on its new $8.1 million Aquatic Center and Sports Medicine Facility that will open by the fall of 2014. The center will include a 40-meter-by-25 yard, 16-lane pool with outdoor lighting, together with a dedicated sports medicine training facility and classroom.

The majority of the funding for the pool -- $7.1 million -- has been provided through voter-approved Measure C funds, and the rest will be raised from the community through the Northgate Community Pride Foundation.

"This is a project that was in the original plans for the school, and we're very excited to finally be able to make this dream a reality," said Ralph Austin, president of the foundation in a news release. "This project will be a first-class facility that will enhance our community and all of our Northgate aquatic and nationally recognized sports medicine programs. The Measure C funds are a huge boost for our community and to finish the funding off, we only need to raise another $500,000 to enhance the facility with lights."

While the funds are in place to build the infrastructure of the pool, more is needed to complete all the amenities for the complex, according to Austin. More than $500,000 is needed to install lights and aquatics deck equipment.


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From 1974 until now, the school teams have had to travel to find other pools to train and compete. Often this meant students traveling and training at odd hours, according to the release.

"Yet again, our school has benefitted from one of the most progressive public/private partnerships in the state of California," said John McMorris, principal of Northgate High School, in the release. "The Measure C funds made this project possible, and the vision and fundraising efforts of (foundation) within our community will help create a first-class facility for many future generations in the Northgate Community."

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    The Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center will hold its "Creating a Peaceful School Conference" Feb. 1, and teachers can sign-up now to attend.

    In its third year, the conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Seven Hills School in Walnut Creek. The keynote speaker will be Victor Rios, an associate professor of sociology from UC Santa Barbara, who is a motivational speaker and author of "Poverty, Gangs and a Ph.D." and "Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys." Rios has been featured on PBS and participated in a TED Talk.

    The conference will also include topics such as fostering safety, teaching compassion through mindfulness, discussions on race and teaching acceptance through art and music. Those set to present include Laura Delehunt a Contra Costa County deputy district attorney, Berkeley High School Gay Student Alliance Supervisor Deborah Godner and Holly Fulton with The Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery.

    Registration is $45 and that includes morning refereshements and a catered lunch.

    For more information go to :www.creatingpeacefulschools.weebly.com or contact Margli Auclair at 925-933-7850 or by e-mail at margli@mtdpc.org

    To submit an item for School Notes e-mail enardi@bayareanewsgroup.com. Contact Elisabeth Nardi at 925-952-2617. Follow her at Twitter.com/enardi10.