Football Fields Rose from Gravel Patches to Lighted Stadia

Local high school football play begins this week, with the first game for Chugiak’s Mustangs tomorrow (Friday) at East while Eagle River’s Wolves host Ketchikan Saturday afternoon. Both schools have their own artificial turf fields with lights. That has not always been the case. When Chugiak High School opened in the fall of 1964, the building was designed for 400 students. Built by the state, it was turned over to the Anchorage School District due to the creation of the Greater Anchorage Area Borough that year. Until passage by the Legislature of the Mandatory Borough Act in 1963, Chugiak-Eagle River had been an unincorporated area halfway between Anchorage and Palmer. Its population numbered fewer than 3,000 people. There were two schools for grades 1-8, the original one in Chugiak and a newer building in Eagle River. High school students were bussed to Anchorage, a situation that ended with opening of the new secondary school.