A large crane lifted the last piece of the new stadium at Merced's Golden Valley High School into place Friday morning. The 45 foot long press box arrived on a truck from Texas to complete the four thousand seat facility.
"We've installed nothing but the best here," said Travis Kirk. "The track is the best we can get. The field turf on the field is on 21 NFL football fields."
The complex is the new home to both Golden Valley and Merced High's football teams, and is named Veterans Stadium. It will also be used for soccer games and some community sporting events.
"It's a positive thing for the community," said Lee Shaw. "It's not just for Golden Valley High School or the district. We're planning on at some point putting on events where youth soccer could come in here, have some tournaments."
The district is paying for the $6 million stadium with voter approved Measure M funds.
Livingston High School also got nearly $22 million to add a twelve classroom wing, a new gym, and make improvements to 19 acres of playfields. But some parents argue the money should have been shared with other campuses.
"As Atwater High and Merced High, we're the two oldest schools in the district," said Buffy McDaniel. "We're the two top performing schools, and our facilities are what they were when I attended school and previous to that."
Buffy McDaniel is also frustrated that the district has started building a third high school in Merced instead of improving the other existing campuses.
Project Manager Travis Kirk says the district is still hoping to make improvements to Atwater and Merced High down the road. But for now, he's trying to get this stadium ready for the first scrimmage on August 20th.
Kirk said, "We're under the crunch, but we're going to make it."