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WFISD Athletic Director Presents Plans to Improve District's Athletic Complex
The Wichita Falls Independent School District's athletic complex received the lowest score in the Educational Facilities Master Plan Final Report but there plans for improvements.
WFISD Athletic Director Kenny Catney says his whole improvement plan would cost $12 million, which could come from the sale of bonds.
However, Catney says funding source decisions would ultimately be made by board members.
He says he was not surprised when Memorial Stadium received the lowest score in the study which is why he says now is the time to start making improvements.
Memorial Stadium has been an entertainment hub for the Wichita Falls community since it was built in 1971 other than the press box was repaired following tornado damage in 1979 and a scoreboard that went up about a year ago; the athletic complex has seen few improvements over the last four decades.
"Its come time that there has to be some money put into this to address some of the issues we have," Catney says. "It's a very valuable piece of our inventory. We need to keep it updated."
Catney says his plan starts with the way the stadium looks.
He says aesthetics are important since you get just one chance to make that first impression.
"The parking lot hasn't really been touched since its been built. Lot of mending to it but it needs to be constructed correctly. It's going to help our spectators because it's going to help the image of the stadium," Catney says.
In addition, Catney says inside the stadium could use some major upgrades as well as parts of his plan would make the facilities far more functional for players and coaches.
He says, "The locker rooms have to be bigger. The locker rooms were built in 1971 where there was an average of 46 kids in a team. Now, we're 77 so we'd have to extend that."
"Up in the press box, it's awful small. We use to have four coaches up in the press box, now you're looking at about eight coaches up in the press box and really just making it a little bit more easier to flow," Catney says.
He says improving the stadium after all these years will not only benefit the school district but the community as a whole.
"Its become a priority now. I think more and more people have had these ideas and now with more and more age on the stadium, it is I feel about time and I think there's a consensus it's about time it's address," Catney says.
Catney presented his ideas to school board members on Thursday and says he received positive feedback.