Hudson -- The landscape of Hudson High School changed a bit in 2012.
The track behind the school was transformed into a $5.5 million football stadium capable of seating more than 5,000 fans.
Hudson Memorial Stadium, build entirely from private donations, opened in August in time for the first home game in what turned out to be a playoff season for the Explorers. Construction began following a groundbreaking in March.
The facility was named Hudson Memorial Stadium at the request of Tom Murdough, who served as a U.S. Marine. Murdough and his wife, Joy, through the Joy and Thomas G. Murdough Foundation, donated $3 million to the project. Other donations included $500,000 from the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, and $400,000 from Dick and Barbara Malson.
The Hudson Athletic Boosters Club oversaw construction of the stadium. The high school footballs team's former home, Lavelli Field, named after Pro Football Hall of Famer Dante Lavelli, built in 1972, will remain. There are plans to construct an area in the new stadium's entrance way to honor Mr. Lavelli, a former Cleveland Brown, Hudson High School graduate and World War II veteran, who died in 2009.
The stadium includes a new track, an artificial turf playing field, a press box, concession stands and restrooms for both the home and visitor sections, and an entrance way that serves as a tribute to veterans.
The Hudson City Schools Foundation spearheaded the effort to raise funds for the stadium.