The Navy Color Guard from Naval Medical Center kicked-off the stadium dedication ceremony during which MBHS principal Ernie Remillard commented, “I’m honored to welcome everyone to celebrate the grand opening of the stadium, softball and baseball fields.”
As a student athlete himself, Remillard said he’d “never played in a venue as beautiful as what I’m standing in today.
“I look forward to seeing the continued success of MBHS athletics and having student athletes of Mission Bay carry on this tradition that has been established by alumni,” Remillard added.
Stadium project construction, which started in December 2013 and finished in March 2015, was funded by Proposition Z and State Schools Facilities Funds. It represents an investment of nearly $11 million into Mission Bay High School and the Mission Bay and Pacific Beach communities.
The new athletic facilities include raised-level seating for disabled spectators, a safer rubberized running track, and a smooth-surface playing field for a variety of sports for all-year play. With a new regulation field and track, MBHS may now host CIF-level games and the new lights allow for night home games.
Pam Deitz, president of the MBHS Alumni Association, noted community volunteers have been working with San Diego Unified School District for more than a decade to acquire new athletic facilities for MBHS.
"We started focusing on the MBHS field when my son was starting sixth grade at PBMS,” said Deitz. "He will be graduating from college this June."
Major stadium upgrades were needed.
"With the new facilities, we no longer have to sell concessions out of a metal storage container," noted Kim Schoettle, president of Friends of Pacific Beach Secondary Schools.
"Finally after nearly a decade of SDUSD board of education meetings, phone calls, district visits, emails, letters, countless presentations, and a year of construction, the Mission Bay High School athletic field renovations are complete,” said Kathy Miller Gray. “It is gratifying to know that the work and support of the school community helped bring our ‘field of dreams’ into reality.
“We have to thank Lee Dulgeroff and his team at SDUSD for constructing the amazing facilities,” she said. “The deserving students of Mission Bay High School now proudly have athletic facilities that are safe and beautiful."
Board Trustee Mike McQuary acknowledged the support of local voters whom, he said, “decided we need (phys ed) facilities and technology improvements” when they “passed a $2 billion bond at 68 percent approval: That’s incredible during a time in which we were (financially) challenged. This community trusted this board and provided the funds to make the difference.”
Lee Dulgeroff, chief facilities planning and construction officer of SDUSD, thanked MBHS parents for stepping forward a few years ago in bringing to the school district’s attention that the old stadium, which opened in 1953, was “old and antiquated” and that the track was “in poor shape” while noting its patchy field had been “taken over by gophers.”
Dulgeroff pointed out the new-and-improved stadium facility now has bleacher seating for 2,400 spectators — 1,600 on the home side and 800 on the visitors, as well as a new press box, a concession stand and new stadium lights.
“It took a lot to make this dream a reality,” Dulgeroff concluded