After fielding months of complaints over the condition of the Interscholastic League Stadium, Kansas City Public Schools unveiled the new updated football field Friday night.
The renovations for the stadium, located at 3500 E. Meyer Blvd. in Kansas City, MO, was a long time coming, but players and the parents of players all say it was worth the wait.
"I love the stadium. It's beautiful. It's much better than it was before they fixed it up," said Melanie Parker.
It was high praise from the mother of East High School Lineman Jeremiah Parker, No. 77, over the newly-renovated Interscholastic League Stadium.
"The last time I was here we sat over on this side. It was dark. The board wasn't working," Melanie Parker said. "The field was just raggedy, but now it's much better and he looks good out there."
The project took at least eight months and cost about $5 million. Included in the price tag was new turf, a new track, a new scoreboard and new locker rooms. KCPS Athletic Director Michael Watson said it was money well-spent.
"It's another thing that we're doing to increase student achievement having a good athletic facility like this is one of those pillars," he said.
The Kansas City Chiefs and the Local Initiatives Corporation chipped in $200,000 toward the project with the rest of the money coming out of the school's budget.
"We have a place where the past, present and future can come together and enjoy and celebrate a home we built for each other," said Kevon Graves, a football player for Northeast High School.
Superintendent R. Stephen Green; LISC Executive Director Stephen Samuels and Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame linebacker and current Director of Special Events Gary Spani and students were involved in the 30-minute event.
Other Chiefs personalities were also on hand.
"Safe playing fields are a critical part of LISC's efforts to create sustainable communities - places where people want to live, work and raise families," said Samuels. "We have been hopeful to improve this field for many years. Thanks to the NFL, the NFLPA, and most especially the Kansas City Chiefs, we are not only creating a place for young people to compete in football and other sports, we are also helping create A community and making our neighborhoods better and stronger."
"This award shows what's possible when corporate citizens and our school system partner to increase student achievement," Green said. "This grant will allow our athletics program to better maintain their new facility and keep it safe and beautiful for the community. KCPS is grateful for the support."
The stadium is used by eight different Kansas City high schools and Watson said the track may also be used by some area colleges for practices.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:38 AM EDT2014-07-23 14:38:30 GMT
Tragedy has repeatedly touched the life of the mother of a 5-year-old girl shot to death in Leavenworth Friday night.More >
Tragedy has repeatedly touched the life of the mother of a 5-year-old girl shot to death in Leavenworth Friday night. And some wonder if more could have been done to protect the children of Christina Harris from violence.More >
Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:38 AM EDT2014-07-22 11:38:25 GMT
Dash cameras hold a lot of answers in determining who fired the shot that killed a girl during a shootout between police and a man suspected of abducting her, law enforcement close to the case said.More >
Dash cameras hold a lot of answers surrounding the finals moments in determining who fired the shot that killed a 5-year-old girl during a shootout between police and a man suspected of abducting her, law enforcement close to the case said.More >