Clovis West’s Aquatics Center Overhaul Finished Just in Time for Invitational, State Meets - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
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Clovis West’s Aquatics Center Overhaul Finished Just in Time for Invitational, State Meets



Refurbished Clovis West Swim Complex
Clovis West's refurbished Olympic Swim Complex includes a new shaded grandstand. (Clovis Unified School District)
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Clovis West gets to show off the $7.5 million overhaul of its Olympic Swim Complex, which reopened earlier this week with a dual meet with Buchanan High School and which will host the 30-team Clovis West Invite this weekend and the California Interscholastic Federation state swimming and diving championships in May.

Want to check out earlier School Zone columns and other education news stories? You’ll find them at Nancy Price’s School Zone Facebook page.

The school has long hosted state championships and Olympics qualifiers. But after decades of use the pool deck and other equipment was showing its age. The original piping system was leaking 100 of gallons of water daily, the deck was crumbling, and mechanical equipment needed replacement.

But the district didn’t just repair the old stuff. There’s a new timing system, new LED pool lights, new shower area and synthetic turf, and a brand-new 9,572-square-foot shaded grandstand seating 1,300.

And, in a district that hews closely to its traditions, Clovis West folks wanted to make sure that the successes of the past (31 state titles for the boys and girls water polo teams combined, 41 state titles for the boys and girls swim and dive teams combined) would be carried forward into the future.

Prior to the meet with Buchanan, small jars of water collected from the pool just before it closed last summer were poured back into the refurbished pool.

“Our aquatics program has been the model for success across our district and across our state,” principal Eric Swain said in a news release. “I think what the bond dollars have done for our pool complex is amazing … we have a first-class facility — just like (founding superintendent Floyd) Doc (Buchanan) would have wanted.”

Also in School Zone: 

  • PETA to Fresno State on its mascot ceremony: Bad university.
  • World Languages Fair coming to McLane High School. Fresno Unified expands dual language immersion programs.

Animal Rights Activist Boos Fresno State’s New Mascot

Fresno State’s upcoming “Passing of the Collar” ceremony, when one English bulldog mascot is joined by a younger pup who will replace him, has not gone unnoticed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

“Shame on Fresno State for forcing a breathing-impaired breed with a grotesquely flat face to choke, cough, gag, and suffer in the sweltering heat as its ‘mascot,’ ” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in an email. “If the university’s athletes suffered from deformed windpipes, they’d lose every game — and some of them would lose their lives from exertion.

“Continuing this trend will only inspire more people to support cruel breeders, and PETA reminds Fresno State that the ‘Passing of the Collar Ceremony’ involves passing on debilitating deformities to dogs who can’t enjoy happy or healthy lives and urges the school to switch to a costumed human.”

Fresno State has been represented by a live bulldog for decades. Now known by the moniker Victor E. Bulldog, the third-gen Victor will be replaced by Victor E. Bulldog IV prior to Sunday’s baseball game vs. San Diego State.

Longtime Tradition

Fresno State’s tradition of a live mascot stretches back to 1921. According to the university’s alumni website, student body president Warren Moody “adopted a tough-looking bulldog who showed up on campus every day, hoping to share lunch with the students.” The Fresno Morning Republican then started referring to Fresno State as the “Bulldogs.”

Bulldogs named “Moose” represented the university over the decades, but the name Victor E. Bulldog came as a result of a contest in 2006 to find the next live mascot. A dog named Norman was chosen to be the first Victor E.

Centuries of breeding gave English bulldogs their distinctive flattened face that shortens airways, making it more difficult for the dogs to breathe, especially in hotter weather. A court in Norway last year banned the breeding of English bulldogs unless it was to improve the health of the breed or bring in new genetic material.

McLane to Host World Languages Fair

Want to see what a polyglot looks like? McLane High School’s Dual Language Immersion Program and World Languages Department will host the 24th World Languages Fair on Saturday.

There will be language activities, performances, competitions, and sporting events for middle and high school students who are studying languages, as well as English learners from across the Central Valley.

The cultural performances will include folklorico, mariachi, flamenco, K-pop, and Hmong and Polynesian dance; salsa lessons; a grito mexicano competition; and a poetry slam between Fresno City College and Roosevelt High School.

The event will start at 8:30 a.m. at McLane High, 2727 N. Cedar Ave., with an opening ceremony scheduled for 9 a.m.

Expanding Language Options

Fresno Unified’s focus on languages is continuing to expand, trustees learned at Wednesday’s board meeting. In the “Fresno Unified Global 2030” presentation, assistant superintendent Sandra Toscano outlined the state of California’s goals, which include that half of all K-12 students will participate in programs leading to proficiency in two or more languages and that the number of students who receive the state Seal of Biliteracy — which is stamped on their high school diploma —will triple by 2030.

Fresno Unified offers dual language immersion as early as preschool and transitional kindergarten in 15 schools and has seen the percentage of all students participating in Spanish and Hmong dual language immersion and Hmong Heritage programs double from 3% to 6% over the past four years.

New afterschool heritage language programs are being added in Punjabi, Mixteco, Arabic, Hmong, and Spanish, with a total of 20 such afterschool programs at elementary schools by the 2025-26 school year, Toscano told the trustees.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email