Coeducation Preparations and Enhancements
As preparations for coeducation were moving along, construction of a girls’ locker room began adjacent to the east wall of the gym. In addition, Brother Philip Clarke, FSC, wanted to enhance the band facility by moving them out of the corner classroom in the gym. The new Band room would be located on top of the girls’ locker room allowing for a larger performance area and an area for instrument storage.
La Salle Makes Plans for Football
In early 1990, Principal Brother Philip Clark, FSC, and La Salle’s Board of Regents established a committee comprised of regents, parents, alumni, faculty, and students to examine the issue of football at La Salle. This committee explored ways to gauge parental, alumni and student support for a football program and made detailed estimates of costs for equipment and facilities. The consensus of this committee was that La Salle should move forward and add football to the athletic program. This proposal went onto be approved by La Salle’s trustees, the provincial council of Christian Brothers.
Women Arrive on Campus
Even though the School intended to offer enrollment to women one grade level at a time, a brave group of ladies (thirteen in all) convinced Brother Philip Clarke, FSC, that they should be admitted into the junior class. Cautiously, he gave the stamp of approval to these young ladies and they took the School by storm. Not to be outdone, there was an ambitious group of twenty-seven young ladies who were also admitted that year into the sophomore class and they wasted no time letting people know they were here to stay. The freshman class that year (the Class of 1995) was the first full coeducational class at La Salle. Young women immediately got involved in all aspects of student life ranging from student government to clubs to athletics to performing arts.
Football Kicks Off at La Salle
With the approval of La Salle’s trustees, the search was on for an individual who had the experience and drive to create La Salle’s football program from the ground up. Lucky for the search committee, one candidate by the name of Lew Stueck came highly recommended. With Coach Stueck in place he took the reigns and built La Salle’s football program from the ground up. Everything from scheduling, to equipment, uniforms, strategies, etc., had to be created because La Salle had nothing other than a few actual footballs that were used during P.E. classes. It was a modest beginning for a program that would later flourish. On September 14, 1991 La Salle kicked-off its football program with its first Junior Varsity “Home” Football game at La Canada High School. The following year La Salle fielded both a Junior Varsity and Varsity team.
Separately Incorporated and the Board of Trustees
Under the direction of the De La Salle Institute in Napa, La Salle became separately incorporated with its own Board of Trustees who worked closely with the Brothers’ Lasallian Education Corporation to ensure that La Salle follows its mission and purpose while preparing for a new century.
Christian Brothers make Strategic Decision
Due to the declining number of Novices entering the Institute and the great number of Brothers retiring, the Christian Brothers decide to close the Brothers Residence in Pasadena and reassign those living there to schools in greater need. A handful of Brothers remained on staff but lived at Cathedral High School or in the neighboring communities.
Expansion takes on a Whole New Meaning
In an effort to meet the growing needs of La Salle students, the School’s Board of Trustees approved a campus expansion project that would include: the relocation and renovation of the Blakeslee Library, a 10,000 square foot freestanding Dining Hall, a 200 seat amphitheater, expanded weight room, and a three-story wing that would extend down Michillinda and include four state of the art science labs, general classrooms, campus ministry room, chapel, dance studio, faculty center and administrative offices.
The graduation of the Class of 1998 increased the alumni population to over 4,000 men and women.