Governor Wallace Rider Farrington High School celebrated the highly anticipated dedication ceremony of its Edward 'Skippa' Diaz Stadium at Kusunoki Field this morning in front of a crowd of more than 2,400 students, community members and dignitaries. The $19.5 million stadium includes a new locker room, laundry and equipment rooms and athletic training room. This August will mark the first time in the school's 80-year history that the football team will play a home game at their campus.
"There are many hands that went into the transformation of this field, from securing the funding to construction," said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "Mahalo to Principal Carganilla and the Farrington staff and students for their patience and continued support of the steady improvements being made to their campus. Our hope is that Farrington High continues to serve as a gathering place and source of pride for the Kalihi community."
The stadium project included the demolition of the existing track and field, tennis courts, landscaping and auditorium parking lot. The new construction includes an all-weather six-lane polyurethane track, synthetic turf field, batting cage, storage facility building, locker rooms, concession stand, ticket booth, five stadium field lights, seating for 3,000 and other support facilities. The project was awarded on Aug. 20, 2014 with the final inspection on Feb. 9, 2017.
"Farrington was always known for its school spirit and we have something new to brag about with the opening of the stadium," shared junior Ella Mae Domondom. "It really adds to the fire of our school pride, and I want future students to take care of it. It's a gem for our campus."
The new auditorium and stadium are part of a renovation master plan for the school, which started in 2012. There are nine phases to the plan with the athletic facilities being part of Phase I. Phase II includes plans for the demotion of the swimming pool, old lockers rooms and weight room to make way for a new gymnasium, band and choral rooms and supporting infrastructure and utilities. The plan also calls for new classrooms and more than 100 new parking stalls. All phases of the master plan are contingent on funding.
The school's 80th anniversary events continue tonight with a Community Celebration and Sunday, Feb. 26 with an alumni luncheon at the Kitamura Field House to honor alums Principal Alfredo Carganilla ('86), Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro ('67), 2016 Milken Educator Michael Sana ('93) and more.
Farrington High opened in 1936 and was named after the sixth Governor of the Territory of Hawaii. During World War II the school was used as a medical facility. It has continued to serve the Kalihi community and is home to numerous notable alumni including former Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano, Senators Donna Mercado Kim and Michelle Kidani, Representatives Ken Ito and Gregg Takayama, former NFL star Jesse Sapolu, former surfing champion Ben Aipa, and New York Times bestselling author Janet Mock.
For many alumni, their love for their alma mater has brought them back to serve the next generation of Governors. This is the case with alumnus turned school historian – Al Torco. To learn more about Torco's love of all things Farrington and how the students transformed it into a larger "This is My Farrington" project, click here.
For more information about Farrington High School and its new Edward 'Skippa' Diaz Stadium at Kusunoki Field, click here.