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Mesa Verde High School looks forward to hosting first game in new stadium

A photo of Mesa Verde High School taken in August 2023 shows progress on a new stadium project. // S. Williams

By Sara Beth Williams–
Mesa Verde High School’s new stadium is taking shape and slated to be completed this month, with the first home game planned for October.

San Juan Unified School District Director of Communication Raj Rai confirmed to The Sentinel via email that many of the stadium’s amenities were completed over the summer, including a new press box, bleachers, lighting, restrooms, concessions stand, ticket booths and the turf field. Mesa Verde’s locker rooms also received new orange accent walls and LED lighting.

Currently, Rai said the tennis courts and track areas are awaiting resurfacing. As of a Sentinel staff visit last week, the front drop-off zone and parking lot of Mesa Verde’s campus were still under construction and surrounded by fencing, with a fenced pathway allowing people to walk from the front of the campus to the gym.

The district anticipates handing over the completed facilities in late September, and all facilities should be “tentatively” ready to use by Oct. 3.

Mesa Verde Head Varsity Football Coach Leonard Casillas and the Mavericks are gearing up for their first official home game on Mesa Verde grounds on Oct. 13 against Rio Linda High School, according to the Mesa Verde Football Alumni Facebook page. Casillas put out a request to all former alumni football players and hopes to gather past alumni on the field to cheer on the current uniformed Mavericks as they officially run onto their new home field.

Rai confirmed that a ribbon-cutting ceremony is also tentatively scheduled for Oct. 13, the same day as the high school’s homecoming game. A time has not been locked in yet, according to Rai.

“We’ve all been waiting for this for a long, long time,” Casillas said regarding the new stadium, adding that he hopes the new stadium will “bring the community closer and get the alumni excited.”

“We hope the stadium will bring a renewed sense of community and stand as a place of outdoor learning for all students and athletes,” Rai said, adding that the district is “excited” for students, staff, alum, and the community at large to gather and watch future athletic competitions.

Mesa Verde’s signature project, which encompasses a new stadium, a revamped parking lot, updated tennis courts and other exterior updates, endured a total of 55 impact days due to inclement weather throughout the winter and early spring, delaying project completion by over nine months from it’s original projected completion date of November, 2023.

Continued updates on progress, including photos of the construction, can be viewed on San Juan’s Signature Project facilities web page.

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