It’s been years in the making and now Farrington High School has a new stadium.

The Edward “Skippa” Diaz Stadium at Kusunoki Field was dedicated Thursday morning.

The stadium was unveiled just in time for the school’s 80th anniversary.

“For all the public schools in the state of Hawaii, it is a symbol of what we can do when we all work together with the interest of all you students and all the people of Hawaii at the core of our thinking,” said schools superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “This facility is just one of many changes that we’re seeing on the Farrington campus, and new students are just taking advantage of these new opportunities and excelling. We see it in the awards you’re winning. We’re seeing it in the results academically as well as on the field.”

“Today is not for our football team, or our soccer team, or our track who use this field. It’s really for all of you, for our PE department, for your families, for your future families, but more importantly for our community,” said principal Al Carganilla. “An excellent and great stadium, as we’ve talked about in the past, comes with great expectations as far as keeping it the way we want it to be, free of graffiti, free of rubbish, and taking care of it as well as you do your own home.”

The stadium is named after legendary Farrington football coach Edward “Skippa” Diaz. In addition to his 17 years as a coach, Diaz was known as a teacher, a mentor, and a fixture in the community. He died in 2014 after a battle with esophageal cancer.

“For many, it is indeed a dream come true, but for my husband, it would have been far beyond his expectations,” said Diaz’s wife, Mary Diaz. “As a little boy living in Mayor Wright Housing, he used to come to Farrington High School, stand on the other side of the fence to watch the Farrington Governors prepare for the football season, and he dreamed of attending Farrington High School and playing football as a Governor.

“I remember the day that he was offered the position here. We were so excited that we rushed down to the school and toured the campus,” Diaz continued. “His dream was coming true. Skippa lived, he taught, and he coached with heart.”

The Governors will host their first football game in August.