CLAY COUNTY (KSNT) – A controversy over the stadium at Clay Center Community High School pitted those who think the school needs a new multi-purpose stadium against those who think a community vote needs to be taken.

Otto Unruh Stadium in Clay Center is more than 80 years old. On Monday night, several people spoke in front of the USD 379 school board in favor of the new project and others spoke against.

“I just think it’s wrong for a small group of people to throw together a plan real quick, and try to replace that stadium when it was voted on in 2014, and the people outstandingly said, ‘we don’t want to replace that stadium,” Tracy Claeys, a former college football coach and Clay Center alum, said.

Others, like Clay Center Community High School sophomore Brody Hayes, believe the stadium will benefit the community as a whole.

“It will benefit not only the football team but many surrounding teams. I think it will help the community as great cause it will allow for multi-purposes,” Hayes told 27 News.

The $2 million project would replace the infield with turf, resurface the track, install new bleachers and build a new space for concessions and bathrooms.

Claeys told 27 News he isn’t a “hater”, but isn’t happy with the amount of money they are paying for the project, adding it’s way more than they envisioned.

The “Build a Future, Leave a Legacy” campaign in favor of the new stadium announced a plan to raise $950,000. The group believes the effort will allow the stadium to be built without using any new funding from the school district and without a tax increase.

Clay Center Community High School told 27 News that the private party in favor of the new stadium has already raised nearly one-third of their one million dollar goal. They believe the school can be ready for the start of the 2023 season.

The new stadium would be built next to the school, according to the Build a Future, Leave a Legacy campaign.

According to proponents of the new stadium, repairing the old stadium would have a hefty price tag near $3.5 million. The campaign said any remodel to the facility would require the school district to upgrade for ADA accessibility and seating, increasing the costs.