More than a decade of planning and fundraising came to a head Monday as elected officials and community leaders crowded John Burroughs High School Memorial Field to break ground on a long-awaited $12-million renovation of the site.
"It is a wonderful feeling, especially for the school district and the community who have worked on this for such a long time," said Burbank Unified Supt. Stan Carrizosa.
The renovation of Memorial Field is the third in an $18.5-million, three-phase capital improvement project designed to modernize decrepit athletic facilities at Jordan Middle School, and Burbank and Burroughs high schools.
Work at Jordan and Burbank has already been completed. Burroughs' Memorial Field is expected to wrap up early next year. The stadium will remain closed in the interim. Construction plans call for an extensive facelift of the stadium, including new restrooms, concession stand, lighting, synthetic track, bleachers and exterior façade.
"The bottom line is this is the biggest classroom in the city of Burbank," said Michael Hastings, former city mayor and chairman of the fundraising committee, Celebrate Gratitude. "And it is our responsibility to make it the best classroom in the city of Burbank."