Northeast High School celebrated homecoming with the official opening of the new Northeast Community Sports Complex on Saturday, Sept. 30. Several dignitaries, including KCPS Superintendent Mark Bedell, Kansas City Fire Chief Paul Berardi and CEO of the Greater Kansas Local Initiative Support Corporation Stephen Samuels were there to unveil the stadium to an audience of community members, students and staff.
The athletic complex is the result of an approximately $2 million improvement project that started in the fall of 2015. The project included new football, soccer and multi-purpose facilities spread across land on the high school and Northeast Middle School campuses. It was made possible thanks to an investment by Kansas City Public Schools, plus a $200,000 National Football League Grassroots Program grant through the Greater Kansas City LISC, and a $25,000 ESPN Amenities Grant.
The soccer field was named the “Firefighters Memorial Field,” in honor of Leggio (NEHS Class of 1990), Mesh (NEHS alumni family member) and Hurd (Class of 1975). Leggio and Mesh died in the line of duty in 2015 while battling a blaze at Independence Avenue and Prospect Avenue; Hurd died in the line of duty in 1988.
The Northeast High School football field was named after Charles B. Reynolds, who served as the school’s first principal from 1913 to 1921. The multi-purpose site on the middle school campus was named “Thacher Field,” after the elementary school that was open at that location from 1900 to 2009.