High school football in Texas is about as big a deal to the folks in Texas as FBS college football, so it’s not surprising they have big stadiums. But when you realize one stadium is going to end up costing just over $70 million, it takes your breath away.
That’s what’s happening right now in the Katy school district, per Sebastian Herrera of the Houston Chronicle.
Not surprisingly, this is more than what voters agreed to fund. Herrera reports voters rejected a bond measure in 2013 that would have funded $69.9 million but voted in favor of a bigger overall bond measure that allocated $58 million for a new stadium.
It’s worth noting that this new stadium, set to open in 2017, is being built to be used by seven four-year high schools, including the Katy Tigers, winners of eight state titles.
However, it is being built right next to Jack Rhodes Memorial Stadium, which seats nearly 10,000 fans. This is something that doesn’t sit well with Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack.
“It didn’t make any sense to put a new stadium next to the other stadium,” said Radack, who has been critical of Katy’s new stadium since the bond. “Putting two stadiums next to each other is going to cause a lot of traffic problems, so it’s going to cost the school district a lot of money to improve traffic conditions in that area. Costs that should have been obvious are coming true, and it hurts taxpayers and students at Katy ISD.”
Since voters agreed to fund $58 million for the new stadium, there have been multiple instances of funds being approved over that amount, per Herrera, who writes, “Since the 2014 referendum, stadium-related costs have added about $12.3 million to the total cost.”
Needless to say, there is plenty of controversy swirling around this new stadium.