A divided Killeen Independent School District board of trustees voted 4-3 Thursday morning to approve the construction of two multi-use locker rooms at Fort Hood Stadium.

Board members Susan Jones, JoAnn Purser, Ken Ray and board president Shelley Wells voted in favor of the project, which gave the district the go-ahead to spend just over $358,000 to build two, stand-alone, 738-square-foot buildings at the stadium to house Killeen ISD football teams and their opponents during games.

The vote came after board members unanimously approved a multi-use agreement with Fort Hood, which included language that allows the district to lease the stadium for games.

Killeen ISD’s Director for Facility Services, Ken Crawford, said the two additions would have minimal utilities to keep construction cost low. Once they are built, the additions would be able to house two football teams and staff during games, unlike Hood stadium’s current fieldhouse.

“There is no space (in the field house) for a team to conduct meetings at pre-game, halftime or

postgame,” Crawford said. “There isn’t sufficient space for a team.”

The project drew criticism from board member Corbett Lawler, who voted against the expenditure along with members Terry Delano and Minerva Trujillo. Lawler questioned the long-term costs, and estimated that the cost to hold games at Hood Stadium and the construction cost of the additions would total close to $500,000 over the next five years.

“You have to consider that cost,” Lawler said.

According to a preliminary cost analysis from the district’s business office, the cost per game at Hood Stadium is between $4,400 and $4,600, compared to roughly $6,500 at Leo Buckley Stadium.

While Lawler and other members raised concerns about the cost of the project at a facility that KISD doesn’t own, Superintendent Robert Muller said some of the alternatives would be even more expensive.

“A bare bones facility at Shoemaker (High School) would cost $1.7 million, and that (estimate) was four years ago,” Muller said. “The cost today would be closer to $2 million.”

Muller also noted that a new stadium, which is tentatively slated for 2018 on the district’s long-term facilities plan, carried an estimated price tag of $30 million.

“These fieldhouse (additions) fix the issue of usability for KISD in the future. ... I think it’s a very usable stadium,” Muller said.

The cost of the project was tacked onto the construction cost of the district’s 33rd elementary school as a change order. Construction of the two additions at Hood Stadium are scheduled to be completed Aug. 27, with the first football game set for Aug. 30.

Contact Chris McGuinness at chrism@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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