UPPER DARBY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The ribbon is officially cut on a brand new track and field at Beverly Hills Middle School and Drexel Hill Middle School in the Upper Darby School District.
"We went from having the worst complexes in Delaware County to probably the best," said Superintendent Dr. Daniel McGarry.
The fields are now operational. There is new turf at Beverly Hills Middle School, new lights, a new parking lot, a scoreboard and more.
This plan has been in the works since 2018.
It's a far cry from the heavily used grass field from before.
"From last year, we didn't have this kind of field. It was all just dirt and stuff, and it was pretty messy. And seeing all of these improvements, I'm like, 'Wow, we came so far'," said Alysha Nunez Perez, an 8th grader at Beverly Hills.
"The old field was absolutely terrible. There were like potholes and stuff. It was miserable to run on," said Lamin Sillah, an 8th-grade lacrosse player at Beverly Hills.
Among the new features at Drexel Hill Middle School: a new synthetic track around a regulation-size football field.
This is all part of the district's multi-stage, multi-year facilities improvement plan.
"For years we felt that in order to improve pride in our community, that if we could put new athletic facilities in our district, it would help our kids and help our community," said Dr. McGarry.
"They always see the other schools have immaculate facilities and points of pride, we wanted them to have that. We wanted to invest in the kids and give them something to be proud of," said Edward Brown, president of the School Board of Directors.
Band director Josh Kim looks forward to using this turf for marching band fundamentals.
"You want it nice and flat. If you have potholes or whatever, you'll roll an ankle and that's never a good time. We have kids marching around with 50 pounds of equipment on it can be really difficult for them, but with a field like this, you can really get a grasp for how the sport is supposed to work," said Kim.