Major upgrades bring new opportunities to Muskegon schools

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Thanks to voters, some major athletic and facility upgrades are coming to Muskegon High School and the district.

“You have no idea how excited we are, how ecstatic we are,” said Muskegon High School head football coach Shane Fairfield.

For historic and near-century-old Hackley Stadium, it provides an upgrade to field turf.

“This is amazing,” Fairfield said. “It’s a heck of a compliment from our community and the voters to do this for our young student athletes.”

For the football program with the most wins in Michigan high school history, it’s a chance to actually use the well-earned home field advantage in the playoffs they keep having to give up.

“Those guys (football players) work hard every year to get home field advantage, and unfortunately, in years past, we’ve had to move them because of field conditions,” said Muskegon Athletic Director Keith Guy. “Now that problem is solved. And it also does well for our Big Red following of fans and our band. And it gives us an opportunity to generate funds from our concessions and our fans don’t have to travel outside of the city.”

“Our kids are excited,” Fairfield added. “The greatest thing is for practice. It’s a safety thing for practice. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had to travel to another facility to practice because our practice field was under water. You couldn’t practice on your game field.”

The $104.7 million bonds will also provide new bleachers in the Raymond-Potter Gymnasium and a connected auxiliary gym.

“This is for everybody,” Fairfield said. “This is for gym classes. You don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy the things that are about to happen at Muskegon High School and in the district.”

“There’s a new middle school that’s going to be constructed,” Guy added. “We’ll have a new track , baseball and softball fields, soccer field, a middle school football field there. Our band will get some things — new instruments and some new things for performing arts. It’s monumental for our students.”

And there will be a chance to host other events.

“We could do some AAU tournaments in the summer, hopefully,” Guy said.

“Maybe we could hold a regional,” Fairfield said. “Maybe we can hold a classic or some type of thing to expose Hackley Stadium. Hackley stadium is so enriched in tradition. The community just gave us a huge upgrade and a huge boost of belief.”

“So I’m excited for our students and I’m excited for our community,” Guy said.

The exact timetable on the facility upgrades is still to be announced.