MAUMEE, OH (WTOL) - Maumee schools are launching a major project Friday.
Renovations are now underway for the Kazmaier Stadium.
A community tailgate is kicking off the festivities for the $2.6 million work on the football stadium.
Panther fans of all ages are invited to the tailgate to celebrate the beginning of this undertaking that is exciting for the whole community.
"We're going to have a substantial improvement to the appearance of Maumee. When people come into our city to come to a game, they're going to get to see what Maumee is. It's a community that has a lot of pride in how we maintain our community and what we do for our students, and this will showcase our commitment to the students," said Maumee mayor Rich Carr.
The tailgate, sponsored by Maumee High School and the Panther Pride Foundation, includes a cookout, jump house, music and a viewing of the plans for the renovated stadium.
Commemorative gifts are also being given out to those who donate at the event.
Mayor Carr, a Maumee alumni, says the new football stadium is important to everyone, not just football players and high school students.
"It's great pride to have this and say, 'this is my stadium.' I've heard that from alumni all over the country. They're excited about this project. It makes them feel good to have been from Maumee," said Mayor Carr.
Major donors to the renovation project are being thanked at a dinner at 5 p.m. They will also be publicly recognized between quarters of the homecoming game that follows the tailgate.
Maumee football head coach Marc Gibson says the support of the community plays an important role in making these renovations happen.
"It's an honor just to be a part of this. I think the community getting behind it shows the support that everyone wants to see our program continue to be successful and grow," Gibson said.
The stadium is set to be completed by the fall of 2018.