WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — It was the final race day hosted at the current version of Wichita State Univeristy’s (WSU) Cessna Stadium. After 64 years in the facility, the University will begin the demolition and rebuilding of Cessna. Shockers Athletic Director said the goal is to maintain the tradition of state high school track at WSU.

“There’s been many Olympians and great collegiate athletes that we’ve had throughout the years. There’s just so much history here. It’s going to be sad to see it go,” said WSU Cross Country Coach Kirk Hunter, who also competed at the stadium during his time in high school.

While the emotions behind changing the facility are bittersweet, many believe the change is long overdue.

“It’s time. KU and K-State are both building brand-new facilities. Wichita State is making a huge investment here, and I think it’s going to pay off in the long run,” said Coach Darham Rogers of Wichita East High School.

“We’re ready for it. It will improve restrooms; it will improve the amenities for those that come to compete and also those that come to support the student that are competing,” said Kansas State High School Activities Association Executive Director Bill Faflick.

The changes will include more seating for the 25,000 spectators estimated to attend each year and necessary space for team tents.

“If there is an expansion for more tents and for it to be a community feel and everyone can get that front row view, I’m all for it,” said Derby High School Coach Cedric Shell.

Many coaches also look forward to expanding the track to nine lanes.

It will help the teams definitely if you have the opportunity to put one more in the running events,” said Coach John Reece of Louisburg High School. “It will make it a much more competitive meet.”

Demolition of the stadium is expected to begin in the next few weeks. The project will be done in phases to prevent interruptions to the high school state meet and minimize issues for Shocker track and field.