(KATY, TX) — The Katy Independent School District bond committee met Thursday night and discussed putting a less expensive football stadium proposal on the ballot after last year’s $69.5 million proposal was rejected by voters.
At Thursday night’s meeting, one bond committee member said the only way to greatly reduce the price tag of a new stadium is to make it smaller than the 14,000-seat proposal rejected in November 2013.
Another committee member suggested they could eliminate a bridge on the property. He also mentioned that ambulances would use that bridge route to quickly navigate the property, so eliminating it could cause a safety concern.
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There are numerous ideas being examined that would make the next football stadium less expensive and therefore more likely to receive voter support.
“They are looking at a 10,000-seat stadium, a 12,000-seat stadium, maybe a 14,000-seat stadium. They may look at an 8,000 seats,” Superintendent Alton Frailey said, but he admits he does not know what the committee’s final recommendation will be.
The current facility, Rhodes Stadium, seats nearly 10,000 people.
The bond committee is made up of about 200 people who are looking at the needs of the district as it deals with an explosion in population.
Everything from new schools to renovations and routine maintenance is being reviewed. The committee will then make its recommendation to the school board about what should be included in a bond package, which would be sent to voters for approval.
Frailey says there could be other ways to shave costs from a stadium proposal, but those solutions will have to come from the bond committee as it reviews the district’s options.
“They may ask about having the materials be a little different. They may say maybe you don’t want to have pavement in the parking lot, maybe you want to do gravel instead. They may say lets not make the dressing rooms so big, lets make them smaller” Frailey said as he used examples of what could ultimately be proposed.
The committee could also recommend doing nothing, but most agree that seems unlikely given that seven high schools now share Rhodes Stadium, and the district wants to avoid renting stadiums when conflicts occur.
Any bond package sent to voters would need final approval by the school board first.
If approved, Rhodes would continue to be used. It’s likely the new stadium would be built next-door, given that the district already owns the land and likes the idea of saving money by having one group of workers servicing two facilities.
Game times would be staggered to deal with traffic concerns on game days.
By having two stadium in one location, the same number of police officers could direct traffic at both games, providing additional savings to the district.
At Thursday night’s meeting, it was also revealed that Katy could borrow up to $600 million without a tax increase if the current interest rates and other economic conditions continue.
The bond committee’s work is far from complete. Click for bond committee meeting schedule.