As Westfield High School held its groundbreaking ceremony for the start of the Riverview Health Community Stadium on Aug. 18, those involved described the atmosphere of the school as exciting and promising.
“It’s a very exciting time at Westfield High School,” WHS Athletic Director Bill Davis said.
Davis said construction on the stadium began at the end of July, but Aug. 18 was an opportunity to celebrate the construction with a shovel ceremony.
“When we started this project and asked the community to team up with us they were very much on board. We appreciate their generosity,” he said. “The school and community are excited about this project as it will serve our community for many years.”
“It’s overwhelming with all the generosity from the community of Westfield. They helped us make this dream a reality,” WHS Football Coach Jake Gilbert said. “It’s an exciting time to be a part of Westfield. It’s an important step to take to be on the elite level. This will help.”
Riverview Health has the primary naming rights as stadium sponsor. Davis said other sponsors include: the Estride Family Foundation, scoreboard; CarX Tire and Auto, entry way; Collision Cure, concession stand. At the groundbreaking, Davis also announced CSI Signs will be the sponsor of the WHS gymnasium.
“We’re glad it’s underway … It’s very much needed,” Riverview Health Chief Operating Officer Larry Christman said. “We’re invested in the Westfield community – the school system and ambulatory care center at the old stadium location.”
Dr. Stacy McGuire became principal of WHS 10 years ago. She said during her interview, Supt. Dr. Mark Keen asked her why she wanted the job and she said she wanted WHS “to be a top performing school – academically, athletically and in all student activities.
“The best in the state, the best in the Midwest and eventually the place people around the nation look at at being excellent in everything they do. I believe that we are on that path,” she said.
The field will be used by all sports, clubs and extracurricular activities and even high school graduations.
“It’s truly a community stadium,” McGuire said. “I think that is part of what will eventually make Westfield the place that tips the scale at being one of the best places to come to school if not in the state but in the country. There is a sense of unity and a sense of community here.”
McGuire told the students present that the stadium represented the community’s investment in them.
“There is no doubt we have the very best kids. I could not ask for a better group – I wouldn’t trade a single one of you – but we want to give you every opportunity possible. We feel like this is the missing piece in our facilities to give you everything you need,” she said. “The people in this community believe in you, they support you, they care about you and they want you to be the very best. I look for a long, long, long tradition that becomes legendary on the stadium.”
Davis said the completion date of the first phase of the project is April. As construction takes place, the district will continue competing at the current stadium adjacent to Westfield Intermediate School.