By Sara Beth Williams–
Mesa Verde High School cut the ribbon on a new stadium on Friday, to a crowd of staff, former and current students, and multiple community members from Citrus Heights and Sacramento.
Several prominent officials were in attendance, including State Senator Roger Niello, San Juan Unified School District Superintendent Melissa Bassanelli, Citrus Heights Mayor Tim Schaefer, and representatives from both the offices of Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost and California State Assemblyman Josh Hoover.
“This moment has been marked by determination, sacrifice and an enduring belief that our students deserve the very best,” Mesa Verde High School Principal Jennifer Petersen said in her opening remarks, also adding that the occasion was “momentous.”
Several past alumni spoke during the ceremony, including school board member Tanya Kravchuk, current SJUSD Director of Athletics and former Mesa Verde basketball and football coach Ron Barney, and current Mesa Verde Athletic Director Travis Miller. Kravchuk called the stadium “the most beautiful stadium in the San Juan district” and Barney spoke of anticipating watching the varsity football team run through the tunnel through a crowd of alumni athletes during the upcoming homecoming game.
“I believe that this stadium is really for all of the alumni,” Barney said in closing.
The stadium will be utilized for football, flag football, track and field and soccer, as well as possibly for high school graduation ceremonies in the years to come, according to the school’s principal.
The long-awaited new stadium, which has been under construction for over a year, includes a newly constructed running track and painted football field, scoreboards, stadium bleachers and lighting, a new sound system, press box, concession stand and restroom facilities.
The signature project also consisted of renovating the campus softball fields, adding new tennis courts and a new basketball court, and renovating and extending the front parking lot and drop-off and pick-up zones, along with other exterior and interior improvements. Mesa Verde’s stadium project was funded through voter-approved bond funds.
In an email to Sentinel staff, the district’s director of communication, Raj Rai, said the district met with homeowners directly adjacent to the stadium in May of 2022 to discuss fencing options. Rai also said several trees have been planted to provide a natural sound barrier. According to the district’s website, SJUSD is reviewing having volume limiters installed on the PA system to control or cap the decibel levels on sporting events.
Mesa Verde’s ribbon cutting ceremony preceded its homecoming Junior Varsity and Varsity football games against Rio Linda High School.
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