Dozens of people crowded around the newly built concession stand outside Meade High School as the school mascot — a white horse — stood nearby.
The group, which ranged from local government and school leaders to faculty and staff, celebrated the school’s new athletic stadium at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Aug. 31.
Principal John Yore hosted the hourlong ceremony, which featured the cutting of a gold ribbon representing the school colors.
“For years, we have envisioned and dreamt of what our complex could look like and how we could better serve our students and the community,” Yore said during his speech.
A dedication of the stadium is planned for the Mustangs Homecoming football game on Sept. 22.
The stadium, which is still under construction, will house a combined concession stand, ticket booth and restroom facilities, which are replacing portable toilets.
New bleachers are being installed on the stadium’s home-side. Once completed, seating will accommodate 3,000 fans, making the stadium one of the largest in Anne Arundel County.
Among those who attended were Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard; George Arlotto, superintendent of Anne Arundel County Public Schools; Ray Bibeault, regional superintendent for Meade and the Southern cluster; and Julie Hummer, president of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.
In addition, state Sen. James DeGrange Sr., state Dels. Pamela Beidle and Mark Chang, Anne Arundel County Councilman Peter Smith and Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh also came to show their support.
“Today we are cutting the ribbon — Meade gold — to open the new concession stand and restroom facility of the athletic complex,” Yore said. “Desiring to make improvements doesn’t make it happen by itself. The school needs support and we’ve certainly have had that.”
In his remarks, Rickard addressed the continued development on post.
“Thank you for the invitation and opportunity to witness more positive growth here at our great Anne Arundel County schools located at Fort Meade,” he said.
“We look forward to increasing our cyber contributions, especially from our unit partners here at Fort Meade. We look forward to a great school year.”
Several political officials also spoke, expressing enthusiasm for the stadium as well as the school year.
Smith, whose daughter attends Meade Middle School, said she will attend Meade High as well in a couple of years.
“I’m grateful that
my daughter and other students will not have to use the restrooms at the porta-johns anymore,” he said. “They have been horrible for the past decade or so.
“We will finally have quality facilities that the students can use. This way, they can feel like we value them.”
Coastal, the Meade Mustangs mascot, made his debut that same day. The horse was sectioned off to the side as everyone admired him from afar.
“We have a staff member who has access to mustangs,” Yore explained. “We were fortunate enough to have Coastal come out. From a distance, he was a part of this as well.”
After the ceremony, head basketball coach Pete Corriero said he is excited about the stadium and hopes the students will show their school pride even more now than before.
“This is great for the students,” Corriero said. “Even if you’re not an athlete, you’re going to be proud of the school that you go to.”
Meade High freshman Yaw Opoku-Afriyie, who runs cross-country, came to check out the new stadium.
“The stadium looks good,” the 14-year-old said. “It looks like there’s going to be lots of people coming to the football games when Meade High’s at home.
“I’m excited about attending this school.”