The Clear Creek (Texas) school district has opened a new 10,000-seat stadium.
The Clear Creek ISD Challenger Columbia Stadium is named in honor of the 14 crew members of the Challenger and Columbia space shuttles who died when those missions ended in tragedy.
“In naming this sports complex, you bestow great honor to the memories of our brave crews,” Astronaut Mike Fincke said at a dedication ceremony for the facility. “Every soccer match, every football game, each track and field competition will be a testimonial to our past while building a better future for our students. May this field be blessed and may it teach our children well.”
Several elements commemorating the space shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are woven into the constructs of the stadium and field house including large mission medallions at both gates on the home and visitor sides as well as a photo mural tribute in the press box hospitality suite.
The new facility is the second stadium in the Clear Creek district, which has 41,000 students and five high schools. Funds to build the stadium came from a $367 million bond proposal that voters approved in 2013.
“I am happy to say that this stadium is not the biggest nor anywhere near the most expensive stadium in the state,” School Board President Laura DuPont told the audience. “I am proud to say that it is the one that is exactly right for CCISD. This is your space.” .