It’s been a year since former West High principal Ed Barker made a $270,000 donation amidst the Go for the Goal Campaign’s fundraising efforts. And Barker Field is finally open.
A crowd too large for the brand new bleachers gathered on Friday to celebrate the opening of West High’s soccer complex.
Barker donated his entire salary from his 11 years at West and spoke at the outdoor dedication. Barker, who occasionally roams the halls of the school to this day, recognized the positive changes he has noticed over the years.
“When we opened up we didn’t have a football field, a soccer field, a softball diamond … we didn’t even have a gymnasium floor … And now we have all of those,” he said.
Current principal Jerry Arganbright thanked Barker for his donation and also acknowledged those involved in the Go for the Goal Campaign as well as 210 donors for raising the upwards of $565,000 needed to fund the project. He added that “most of the athletic facilities we have are because of our students, our parents, our staff … and our community support.”
Another special guest on the field was Amy Chu ’85, who played on the boys’ soccer team in 1984 before spearheading the addition of a girls’ soccer team. Like Barker, Chu acknowledged many changes that have taken place since her high school years, adding “West High was not nearly this nice in 1985.”
Chu, who called herself “a product of the Iowa City Kickers,” was presented with a West High soccer shirt by current Kickers player Jack Furlong of Kate Wickham Elementary.
Superintendent Stephen Murley also congratulated everyone involved with the soccer programs and fundraising efforts.
“I’m really looking forward to the first time we see a ball rolling and competition on the field,” he said.
Article by: Juliann Skarda
Photos by: Abbie Skemp