High school football announcers may be heard over the loudspeakers at Fort Hood as early as the 2012 season.
And, ideally, Leo Buckley Stadium would be quiet on Thursday and Saturday nights.
Officials from Fort Hood proposed a partnership last week with the Killeen Independent School District in the rebuilding of the new Prichard Stadium on post.
Killeen ISD Athletic Director Tom Rogers said the stadium, which will seat about 5500 and is expected to be completed in the spring fo 2012, would be welcome as a second site to host in-town games.
“it would mean we could play all of our games on Friday night because we can have two teams in town and two teams out of town.” Rogers said. “That would get us away from Saturday games and Thursday games, which was very appealing to the school board because they really didn’t like the Thursday games because the kids were tired on Friday”.
Public Access a Concern
A major concern that was addressed at the board meeting was public access to the new stadium.
Fort Hood officials presented three options, two of which seemed most plausible to Rogers.
One included a proposed entrance to the stadium complex from Clear Creek Road that would be opened to the public for games specifically. Another was a proposal to extend Bell Tower Road northward to also include an entrance to the facility on game nights. The third option is to open existing entrances to the public at a specific time.
“From what I understand, they were going to have an entrance to the (stadium) but you wouldn’t have to go through a gate.” Shoemaker coach Ken Gray said of the two options, “I think if it was thought out and planned out right, I think it would be a very good situation for the Grey Wolves.”
While no official decision has been made Rogers said he thought the $15 million stadium would become the home field for Shoemaker and Ellison, the school districts west most high school campuses.
Leo Buckley Stadium would then be shared by Harker Heights and Killeen hich schools, Rogers added, and could be used in lieu of Prichard Stadium if a larger crowd is expected. However no official decision have been made.
Gray likes the possibilities though.
“Leo Buckley is a premier stadium, but what I understand, from the drawings and the markup that Tom (Rogers) showed me of this new facility it’s going to be pretty awesome also.” Gray said. “It would be nice to be closer to our campus which might improve our crowds and get a lot more of our kids there.”
Leo Buckley stadium built in 1970 and renovated in 2003, is located on the campus of Killeen High school and is about eight miles from Shoemaker, Copperas Cove’s Bulldawg Stadium is only seven miles fro Shoemaker.
“People have teased me because (Shoemaker) is actually closer to Bulldawg Stadium than it is to our own stadium.” Gray said. “Different coaches have teased me about that but it’s such a fine facility that you’d drive a little extra to get to a stadium like Leo Buckley.”
“It’s really a fine facility and I really like playing there. But again, having something closer to home or having something that you can call home is important, also.”
KISD Asked to Pay for Extra Seating, Video Scoreboard
The new Prichard Stadium will have a UIL track, a covered stage and dressing rooms, parking for 1,000 vehicles and restrooms and locker rooms. Rogers said Fort Hood officials proposed Killeen ISD would provide funds for an artificial playing surface, extra seating and a video scoreboard.
“We’ve just got to sit down and plan and see what all they have planned and see what’s going to be the best way for us to do it.” Rogers said.
“But, I think the school board’s definitely really excited about it. Several of them said so in the board meeting the other night.”
Fort Hood is rebuilding Prichard Stadium at the old stadium was torn down to allow for the $503 million, five story, 947,000 square foot new Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center; which is expected to be completed in 2015.
The old stadium hosted numerous events on post, including the annual 4th of July fireworks show.
“I’ve been to (the old) Prichard as a matter of fact there was a particular time when Keith(Smith) and Contrevius (Parks) were here, we had track practices out there when they were repairing our track.” Gray said. “A lot of our kids still live on post and live in the Kouma (Village) area so that would is a little bit more convenient for them.”
by Kevin Posival, Killeen Daily Herald