LEHIGHTON -- With the snips of a ribbon by several scissors, the brand new multi-purpose stadium was welcomed in by the Lehighton Area school community.
The $6.5 million facility was dedicated before a packed house that filled the bleachers.
For the Lehighton Area varsity football team, this just makes the start of football season even more exciting.
“Very exciting,” said senior Michael Mayernak. “It's going to be a different atmosphere than last year because there'll be a lot more people there. They have reserved seats all the way over there, so it's going to be packed and it should be fun to play on.”
“It’s great. It's beautiful. I enjoy playing on it,” said junior Dane Frantz. “Everyone enjoys playing on it. We hope it draws a lot of fans. I feel like it's going to so I'm very excited.”
The Lehighton Area School District began building the stadium last June. Now a little more than a year later, there's a turf field, a new track, bigger bleachers, and upgraded concession stands.
“It's amazing. They really have put a ton of thoughts and a ton of work into the whole facility, not just the concession stands, but obviously the field and the field house and everything,” said parent Carol Miller, who works at the stands for the district’s athletics booster club.
Many students say they're already at home in their new stadium, including Tyler Dietz, a senior on the soccer team.
“This field is excellent,” said Dietz. “It definitely is a good breath of fresh air getting a turf field in Lehighton. We're always so used to playing on grass but just playing on this turf field, it's extremely nice and we all enjoy playing on it.”
And the class of 1964 donated a “victory bell” that will sit at the stadium during events.
“Members of their class decided on something like a spirit/victory bell for the students that could be shared for all athletes, all programs,” said Superintendent Jonathan Cleaver.
It's expected the new stadium will be filled with fans this Friday night as it's Lehighton Area's first football game of the season to be played on the new turf field.