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Sue D. Cooley Stadium is ready for games

By Staff | Jul 30, 2015

With incredible support by Sue D. Cooley and countless people in the West Side community, the Lahainaluna High School Foundation has achieved a feat that will serve LHS students long into the future.

The foundation is proud to announce that a certificate of occupancy has been issued for the brand new Sue D. Cooley Stadium at Lahainaluna.

People and organizations that played important roles in the stadium project will be recognized at a “Mahalo Party” on Aug. 7. Then, on Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m., the Lunas will play a football game against the Kea’au Cougars of the Big Island.

The stadium effort was kick-started with help from ESPN sportscaster Neil Everett in July 2008. Even though Lahainaluna is a sports powerhouse, he noted, “The oldest public high school west of the Rockies has never had its own sports facility – a place where its students can have home football and soccer games and a real track to train and compete on.”

This was the case for 50 years, giving the foundation cause to “Re-do the Imu,” the name for the hot, uneven dirt field.

Given that it generally takes the state years and several million dollars to build a facility on par with a toolshed, the Lahainaluna High School Foundation took on the task of raising funding and constructing the stadium now valued at nearly $15 million.

The Sue D. Cooley Stadium is the highest quality high school stadium in Hawaii. It features Matrix Turf, a four-lane rubberized track with pole vault and long jump pits, new scoreboard, energy-efficient Musco Stadium lighting, concession building and restrooms, seating for 3,000 loud fans and many other great elements.

The Lahainaluna High School community owes a big mahalo to the foundation and Cooley, who personally put $7.5 million into the project. LHS finally has the stadium it deserves.