Katy ISD puts $99 million bond package, which includes new stadium, before voters

If approved, the 14,000-seat high school football stadium would be the most expensive in the state's history
November 1, 2013 3:22:17 PM PDT
Election Day is Tuesday, and a lot of important issues are on the ballot across the Houston area. In Katy, voters are being asked whether to spend millions on one of the most expensive high school football stadiums in the state.

Currently, six teams have to share this football field during football season; next year, it will be seven. Both sides agree another stadium is needed. What they cannot agree on is the $69 million price tag.

Football is big in Katy, and if a bond package, passes November 5, it could be the biggest in all of Texas. Katy ISD is proposing a $99 million bond package, which mostly includes a 14,000-seat high school football stadium.

At $69 million, it would be the most expensive, to date, in Texas, something some Katy taxpayers say shows a lack of financial discipline.

"Sixty-nine million dollars is grossly excessive. There is no need to have a 14,000-seat stadium because no game ever played in the history of Katy ISD has required 14,000 people," education advocate George Scott said.

"That grass area will covered with students and it will be packed. We do meet capacity," said John Eberlan, who was a member on the stadium's design committee.

Eberlan was on the design committee and says Rhodes Stadium does get crowded. The focus of the new stadium, he says, was the growth of Katy ISD.

"Right now, Katy ISD is growing a 5A high school every year. We're bringing in 2,200-2,500 students every year," Eberlan said. "What we want to do is build a facility that is going to take care of the entire build out of Katy ISD."

Scott just feels a better use of taxpayer money is building a new stadium well below the $69 million dollar price tag and expand the current Rhodes Stadium.

"Add a modest number of seat to accommodate all the high capacity games that have ever been played here, build a second stadium in the range of 10,000 seats," Scott said.

If the bond package is approved, construction would begin immediately. Ticket prices to the games are not expected to change.

Find Erik on Facebook at ABC13ErikBarajas or on Twitter at @ErikBarajas13

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