The Foundation for Santa Barbara High School and Santa Barbara Unified School District will host a dedication ceremony July 3 to mark the completion of the renovated Peabody Stadium.
The event will include an open house beginning at 4 p.m. and a presentation and ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:15 p.m. in recognition of the contributions and collaboration that made the $39 million sports complex a reality, according to a news release from Santa Barbara Unified.
Honorees expected to attend include Santa Barbara High alumni Peter and Gerd Jordano, Doug Allred, David and Louise Borgatello and brothers Sam and Randall Cunningham, sports legends whose legacies still ring through the halls of the historic 1924 campus.
Also in attendance will be Capital Campaign Chair Greg Tebbe, Principal Elise Simmons, School Board President Kate Ford, Superintendent Hilda Maldanado, former Superintendent Cary Matsuoka and others throughout the community who have played a role in bringing the project to completion.
Along with the opportunity to appreciate the stadium’s grounds and Riviera vistas, attendees will enjoy the sounds of the Dons Madrigals as they assemble in song with “The Star Spangled Banner” and the Dons’ alma mater, “Santa Barbara, Hail to Thee!”
During the past year, the pandemic caused delays in scheduling the official dedication event, but now that COVID-19 protocols for outdoor gatherings are loosened, organizers are rolling out the red carpet.
Dons cheerleaders, athletes and students will be there to welcome all as attendees have their first opportunity to view the renovation, including the newly named Cunningham Track, Peter and Gerd Jordano Plaza, Marborg Industries Plaza, Hutton Parker Foundation Tunnel and Doug and Ann Allred Veterans Memorial. Montecito Bank & Trust is the scoreboard sponsor.
More than 600 families purchased a named seat for $1,000 each for the fundraiser.
The Foundation for Santa Barbara High School raised $5 million from private sources to begin this project from 2014 through 2016.
Stadium construction began in 2018 and was completed in 2020.
The stadium will remain named in honor of the original benefactor, Frederick Forrest Peabody, who was the district’s first superintendent and who donated the original 1924 grandstands.
The renovation, which was completed in 2020, included replacement of the concrete stadium and installation of a synthetic track and artificial turf. The new synthetic Mondo track is the quality used in the Olympics, and adheres to CIF standards, enabling the school to host competitive meets.
The artificial turf field allows for year-round use. And the layout of the track and field allows for international play soccer, with a wider field than is often seen.