Lawrence athletics deals with high school closure

Alternative sites being sought for boys’ and girls’ basketball teams


The shut down of Lawrence High School due to Hurricane Sandy-related damage has not only resulted in the displacement of high school students to the middle schools and the fifth- and sixth-grade middle school students to the Number Five and Two schools, respectively, but has caused problems for the winter sports teams.

The high school is expected to be closed for at least six weeks and district officials are planning for eight.

For the remainder of the winter season high school sports teams will practice at the middle school, said Pat Pizzaerelli, the district’s assistant superintendent for Student and Community Affairs, who also serves as the athletic director. During this week the high school teams could begin practice at 3:30 p.m. as the middle school’s winter 1 season ended.

On Jan. 22, the middle school teams will begin their winter 2 season and will practice at their normal time after school, which will push the start of the high school teams practices to 5:30 p.m., Pizzarelli said.

“We are looking for alternative sites to play our home games for our boys’ and girls’ varsity and jayvee basketball teams, since the gyms at the middle school aren’t conducive for a high school game,” Pizzarelli said.

Plans for the spring season include bussing the high school teams to their usual practice and game sites, Pizzarelli said. Most sports and the girls’ softball team uses the fields at the Number Two School. Pizzarelli hopes that the spring plan is in use only for a couple of weeks.