By Andy Ross
Killeen Daily Herald
It was just three months ago that bulldozers and wrecking balls began attacking Fort Hood's Prichard Stadium to make room for the new Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.
Now, with the demolition complete and designs continuing toward a rebuilt Prichard Stadium, those behind the project are indicating they would like to see more than just the Army utilize the new and improved facility.
This week Fort Hood officials announced they are reaching out to officials with the Killeen Independent School District for a possible partnership on Prichard Stadium after its scheduled completion next fall.
If realized, the partnership could prove to be a welcome development for a school district currently sharing one facility - Leo Buckley Stadium on North 38th Street in Killeen - between its four high schools.
During Tuesday's KISD Board of Trustees meeting, board members heard a presentation from Brian Dosa, Fort Hood's director of public works. After listening to the broad outline of the plan, trustees said they are very open to the idea of using the stadium for high school football games and other events.
"I'm really excited about the opportunity for us to partner for the benefit of both of us, and more importantly the taxpayers," said Mike Helm, KISD board president.
Helm said his main concern was ensuring access to the general public would not be restricted due to the stadium's location on the Army post.
Dosa explained that the new Prichard Stadium site is planned for the extreme south end of the Army post, just off U.S. Highway 190 west of Clear Creek Road. Due to the proximity with the highway, Dosa said, several options exist for alternative access roads that would allow entrance to the stadium's parking area without going through a Fort Hood gate.
One of the options mentioned was a road connecting to the southern end of Clear Creek Road, while the other route would connect Bell Tower Road and the stadium's southwest corner. A third option mentioned by Dosa involved temporarily relaxing entrance through the Fort Hood gate during certain events.
Col. Mark Freitag, Fort Hood's adviser to KISD, was present at the meeting and told trustees he was confident the details of a partnership could be ironed out.
"We will figure out a way to make this work, whatever the case may be," Freitag said.
Current designs for the new $15.9 million Prichard Stadium involve seating capacity for 5,500, a UIL track around the athletic field, concession facilities and a stage.
Dosa said the seating area could be expanded if KISD were to enter into a partnership.
Details on the potential financial impacts on the school district under such a partnership were not discussed.
Contact Andy Ross at email@example.com or (254) 501-7468. Follow him on Twitter at KDHeducation.