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Merced High has never had its own football stadium. That’s about to change

Merced coach Rob Scheidt talks about the construction of a new football stadium

The Merced Union High School District has started construction on the first phase of a new on-campus football stadium at Merced High School. The Bears have never had their own football stadium.
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The Merced Union High School District has started construction on the first phase of a new on-campus football stadium at Merced High School. The Bears have never had their own football stadium.

The Merced Union High School District held a groundbreaking ceremony for Merced High’s new on-campus football stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

The stadium will be named Cathie Hostetler Stadium in honor of the wife of local developer Greg Hostetler, whose donation of 8.3 acres of land in 2014 helped fund much of the project.

“It’s great whenever you have an opportunity to put a facility on campus,” said Merced High principal Kurt Kollmann. “This is good — not just for Merced High School — but for the community of Merced.”

According to Merced football coach Rob Scheidt, the school needs to raise about $850,000 to complete the stadium project.

The construction of phase one, which includes a ticket booth, concession stands and bathrooms, will begin next week.

“It’s still kind of like, ‘Whoa, this is happening,’” Scheidt said. “It’s been a lot of work and a lifelong pursuit to bring the best for our kids. Fortunately, enough people have caught the vision and are seeing it through.”

Merced High has never had its own football stadium. The Bears have been sharing Veterans Stadium on the campus of Golden Valley since that opened in 2011. Before that Merced High hosted games at Stadium ‘76 at Merced College.

According to Scheidt, the school hopes to start phase two of the project later this year, which will include bleachers and a press box.

The estimated cost of the stadium runs between $2.8 and $3 million. The site of the stadium is in the back of the school where the practice football field is located.

“It’s going to be exciting to be able to host graduations, soccer games, soccer tournaments, band practices and to have home football games,” Scheidt said.

Hostetler announced he plans on making another donation toward the completion of the stadium in the future.

Scheidt says Merced hopes to start playing their home games on campus in 2020.

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