TULSA, Oklahoma - After 43 years, Tuttle Stadium at Union High School is being torn down to make way for a new multi-million-dollar facility.

Demolition started Thursday morning on the west side of the stadium and crews are still working to tear down part of the bleachers.

Since 1976, fans have sat in those stands watching countless games and performances, but now Tuttle Stadium is being torn down to make way for a new generation of students.

"They're deserving of a facility like this. What we're saying to them is that our students are worthy to have a facility like this," said Union Public Schools Superintendent Kirt Hartzler.

Hartzler is excited about the progress at Union High School. Thursday marks the beginning of a 17-month-long process that will bring a new football stadium, a new fine arts facility for the band, and other amenities like redesigned concessions and restrooms.

Hartzler said they talked about renovating the existing stadium, but a total rebuild seemed like a better idea long-term.

"Several years ago, we realized that the stadium was aging, and we were starting to have certainly some issues with it in terms of space-wise, not enough restrooms, not enough concession stands," said Hartzler.

We caught up with three Union seniors who said although they won't be around to use the new facilities, they're happy to see what the future holds.

"It's cool that we get to see something like that being done, like a really big stadium renovation that kids after we get to play in," said senior Brendon McPherson.

The $42 million project will also include a new wrestling practice area, an expanded weight room, and locker room, as well as a new press box.

Superintendent Hartzler said the stadium will be ready again for football in the fall of 2021. After that, it will take one more year to finish the fine arts facility.