“But nothing has been done to the place since the 1950s. And now it’s in bad shape.”
Michael Hastings has also seen the facility’s decay over the years. A longtime resident and former Burbank mayor, Hastings also knows the value Memorial Field has in the community.
“Many people in the community have played on that field, run on that track or sat in those stands,” he said. “Memorial Field is very important to our community.”
From his time as an athlete at the school, to being a teacher, to becoming the head football coach to his current position as vice principal of activities and athletics, Gudzin has seen many changes at Burroughs the past nearly 40 years.
Unfortunately, little has changed with Memorial Field during that span.
That, however, is about to change. Gudzin and Hastings are doing their part to help a cause important to both of them — as well as many in the community.
Plans are moving forward to renovate the field, along with facilities at Burbank High. Renovations will include a new stadium, complete with a field turf playing surface, new storage facilities and an all-weather running track.
The Burbank Unified School District and the city of Burbank have come together to provide almost $14.2 million for improvements, not only to Burroughs, but to Burbank, which will also have field turf and an all-weather track installed.
Combined funding of an estimated $2.5 million from the district and $9.65 million from the city falls short of the covering the cost of the projects.
That’s where Hastings and Gudzin — along with concerned individuals from the community, like Burroughs co-Athletic Director Marty Garrison — come in. Hastings is chairman for the campaign “Celebrate Gratitude,” which, through the Burbank Priority in Education organization, is trying to raise funds to make up for a possible funding shortfall.