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Work starts on Minarets $11.2 million stadium

An artist’s rendering of the new Minarets High School football stadium. Construction of Phase 1 of the project gets underway Monday.
An artist’s rendering of the new Minarets High School football stadium. Construction of Phase 1 of the project gets underway Monday. Submitted photo

Monday marked a milestone for Minarets High School - groundbreaking for the school’s $11.2 million football stadium.

Bush Engineering of Hanford will start earthwork for the field Monday morning.

Phase 1 of the five-phase project will be the 85,000-square-foot football/soccer field with natural grass, and an eight-lane track at a cost of $580,000. Although the Mustangs will still play under portable lights and fans will sit on portable bleachers, the football field will be ready for the school’s first home football game against Orosi on Aug. 11, to kick off the school’s ninth year.

Chawanakee Unified School District Superintendent Darren Sylvia said everyone is excited about this step in the future of athletic programs at Minarets High School.

“This project is the second major project that has taken place this year to improve the athletic facilities at Minarets,” Sylvia said in a prepared statement. “The high school opened its JV softball field this past spring and has high hopes for the future athletic facilities.”

A portion of the funds for the project will come from an agreement with developers in the area including the project Tesoro Viejo Inc., a 5,200-home master-planned community east of Highway 41 on the north side of the Madera-Fresno county line. Construction of Phase 1 of Tesoro Viejo has yet to begin, and total build-out is scheduled for 2030.

According to Sylvia, the Minarets Athletics Department will seek additional donations to help complete Phases 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the plan. Complete build-out is expected to be complete in 2022.

“Each phase is designed to complete the stadium with seating for up to 1,500, concessions, lights, restrooms, and team rooms,” Sylvia explained.

Minarets Principal Daniel Ching said a large project like this will impact students for generations to come.

“We are excited for the expansion of athletic opportunities for our students and community,” Ching said. “Facility upgrades such as this will impact students for generations to come as Minarets continues to grow and our students reach new levels of success. This year we added an additional softball field as well as began expansion of our Ag Farm. This new project takes us even farther. These upgrades and the phases that will soon follow prove how committed our district and community are to student success.”

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