Community leaders, alumni, and students ushered in a new era during the Colton High School Memorial Stadium groundbreaking ceremony on Friday.
Dignitaries in attendance, many of whom attended Colton High School in their adolescence, said the event marked an exhilarating moment for the city.
“This is your stadium,” said Colton Joint Unified School District Board President Dan Flores. “It’s something we want you to be proud of.”
The new and improved stadium is being constructed through $12 million of Measure G funds and is slated to be completed by November 2018.
When completed, the new Colton Memorial Stadium will include improved aluminum visitors bleachers with a 1,500 seating capacity, new stadium lighting, training room, weight room, and restroom improvements, and the construction of concessions and restrooms on both sides of the stadium.
Popular events, such as the city’s annual birthday celebration, are held at Colton High School. The opening of the Memorial Stadium will only serve to enhance the experiences of residents, Flores expressed.
Superintendent Jerry Almendarez admitted the re-construction of the Memorial Stadium was not on the districts priority list. It took collaboration between the school board and district facilities officials, as well as hearing input from the community to push the project forward.
“I didn’t really think I would see this project come to life, but I’m glad I did,” Almendarez said.
CJUSD Board Member Frank Ibarra believes the stadium improvements will help Colton High athletics, specifically the football, soccer, and track and field teams, perform at a higher level.
“For years any competitor who played here had it tough,” he said. “We are still a school we can be reckoned with.”
Track and Field Athlete Jannet Olivares, 17, said she’s glad to know the new stadium will be ADA compliant to enhance the experience of events for disabled residents. Olivares, who will graduate this year, also believes the construction serves a huge confidence boost for the community.
“If you look at the stands, you can see students bond through football games,” Olivares said. “This community is close and sticks together. We will only get better.”
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