By Alicia Lacy
Killeen Daily Herald
FORT HOOD - With each jackhammer strike of a trackhoe, pieces of Prichard Stadium began to fall and collect in a pile.
The stadium is being demolished to make room for the nearly $1 billion replacement of Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.
The demolition process will take a few days to complete, said Jeff Salmon, installation planner for the directorate of public works.
The process began July 12 with crews surveying the area and removing all materials that will be reused at areas around post. About 95 percent of all the stadium's demolished materials will be recycled, according to information from Fort Hood.
Salmon said lights will be used at ballparks at Fort Hood and other recycled materials will be used to generate revenue for Fort Hood's events through the recycling program.
A new stadium will be built at the west end of Fort Hood near Clear Creek. Salmon said the contract was awarded late last week.
The new stadium will be much larger with a 5,500-person capacity. The stadium will not only cater to sporting events, but also entertainment with a permanent stage.
The new Prichard Stadium, named after Maj. Gen. Vernon E. Prichard, former commander of 1st and 14th Armored Divisions, is scheduled to be completed by early 2012.
III Corps and Fort Hood command historian Richard Powell said the old stadium, which opened in 1951, was built because of a lot of fatalities from vehicle collisions when soldiers would drive to Austin and other areas. "The leadership tried to put as much for soldiers to do here," he said.
The original stadium was built with funds from movie theater and MWR revenue.
The contract for the medical center has not been awarded, but a groundbreaking ceremony is tentatively scheduled for September.
Read more about the new medical center in Wednesday's Fort Hood Herald.
Contact Alicia Lacy at email@example.com or (254) 501-7559. Follow her on Twitter at KDHfeatures.