RICHMOND, R.I. (WPRI) — The Chariho High School community came together on Sunday to celebrate what would have been Maddie Potts’ 21st birthday.

Family and friends describe Maddie as kind-hearted, caring, and someone who constantly uplifted others.

Now, the field house bearing her name will forever carry on her legacy.

“It’s overwhelming that she’s gone, but it’s even more overwhelming how this community just doesn’t give up,” Stephanie Potts said.

Family, friends, and teammates broke ground on the Maddie Potts Memorial Field House.

Maddie was 17 and in her senior year at Chariho, when she died suddenly on the soccer field from an aneurism, back in 2017.

“My biggest fear after I’ve already lived the worst, is that someone is going to forget her,” Stephanie Potts said.

But Stephanie Potts said that fear was far away Sunday. In just three years, the Maddie Potts Foundation and community raised $800,000 to build a 3,000 square foot facility at Chariho High School to keep Maddie’s legacy alive.

“Really speaks to the affect Maddie had on people not just because she died but by how she lived her life,” she said.

“It’s really a celebration of Maddie and what she was able to do and accomplish,” Daniel Potts said.

Friends and teammate Emily Feisthemel hit a shovel into the ground on Sunday. She said it’s overwhelming seeing the space where her friend’s name will be permanently.

“She was always a bright soul. She always had a smile on her face. Every practice, every game she gave 111 percent. Every day she woke up and chose to fight and she fought until her last seconds on the field,” she said.

“She just included everyone in everything. She made everyone feel like family. It’s kind of overwhelming to see it coming together like this but also awesome,” Emma Hughes said.

The Maddie Potts Foundation said the field house is expected to be completed by this fall, which will mark four years since Maddie passed.

To learn more about the Maddie Potts Foundation, you can click here.