• December 21, 2014

Modest locker rooms still beat sheds and tents

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Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 4:34 am, Sun Jun 30, 2013.

As it turns out, I didn’t need to buy that sleeping bag.

Luckily, the Hershey bars, graham crackers and marshmallows can be eaten any time.

Who needs to camp out to eat s’mores?

As for the tents? There isn’t a reason to use or even think about them anymore.

That idea, which was to let football teams using Hood Stadium to dress out in tents on game nights and was suggested by a school board member, who shall not be named to protect them from embarrassment, was packed away for good Thursday.

The Killeen Independent School District board of trustees approved a $360,000 project to build two “locker rooms” at Hood Stadium.

But was it the best option? For now, maybe.

Long term, though, the best option is to have another stadium owned and operated by KISD, but unless everyone reading this wants to go pass a bond right now, that is not going to happen any time soon. A completely new stadium is tentatively scheduled for 2019 on KISD’s long-term facilities plan, but it is estimated to cost about $30 million. And by then the cost could soar past that already egregious number.

So for now, Hood Stadium will have to do, and the close 4-3 vote ended a three-month debate about how to outfit the stadium to make it viable for 5A football games.

Last season, that viability was a stretch. Teams were forced to dress out and have half-time meetings in emptied out storage sheds. And fans from opposing teams were separated by a safety rope with flags, which is not all too safe, actually.

For a 5A school, even the “locker rooms” are a reach.

And Copperas Cove football coach Jack Welch took away home-field advantage for KISD schools by scheduling practices at the facility during the spring. That was kind of embarrassing for KISD — the move really was a stroke of genius — and I would not be surprised if Welch scheduled a few more practices in the fall to further diminish KISD’s hold on the leased out stadium with its new “locker rooms.”

Construction on those “locker rooms” — I say that loosely, because the rooms are pretty much just four walls and a roof — is set to begin July 16 and is expected to finish Aug. 27, three days before hosting is first football game of the 2013 season. They will not have lockers, bathrooms or central heat or air.

So more players will probably be overheating during halftime than they will when they are playing, but with the help of some

industrial fans at least games can be played Hood Stadium a little more comfortably than last season.

The district hosted three games at Hood Stadium last season and nine are scheduled in the 2013 season. So it will get used. At least there is that.

And they don’t have to be Thursday night or Saturday afternoon, which was a main source of contention with KISD.

I don’t see the dilemma, outside of getting rid of a few tardies the next day at school, but KISD does and Hood Stadium is the quickest fix to eliminate Thursday night or Saturday games at Leo Buckley Stadium, a practice that started in 2000 when the district opened its third and fourth high schools, Harker Heights and Shoemaker.

Killeen Independent School District superintendent Robert Muller had it right when he said: “Is it perfect? No. Is it Buckley Stadium, absolutely not. But it is a viable stadium.”

Although, viable is all in how you look at it.

For now, it works, and neither I nor the teams will have to bring sleeping bags and tents to watch or play the games at Hood Stadium next season.

Although, if someone still wants to bring some s’mores, I wouldn’t mind it a bit.

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