24.2.16

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS.

Taxpayers in Katy, Texas, recently approved a $748m school bond package.  News reports describe the "centerpiece" of the planned capital expenditures as a twelve thousand seat football stadium with an expected first cost of $59m up to about $70m.
The school district's current stadium is 34 years old and was built when there were only three high schools in the area. Now seven schools must share it, and school officials say the time to build a new one is now.

When its game day in Katy, the Tigers can roar with the best of them, but the defending state champs share their aging facility with six other football teams.

School officials say the district has outgrown it. They want voters to approve the sale of bonds to kick off construction of the 14,000-seat stadium.

Asked about critics concerns that is a luxurious, kind-of-out-of-control stadium, John Eberlan, a project committee member, said: "That's not what we've designed -- not at all."

So what is what they've designed?

"We told the architects that what we needed was a stadium that would pass, and so we needed to present to the community a reasonable, conservative construction," Eberlan said.

Surprisingly, one of the plan's loudest critics is in the stands. Cyndi Lawrence is a local tea party leader. Her son -- a junior high school quarterback -- could eventually play in the proposed stadium.

"It comes out to be $5,000, almost $5,000 per seat," Lawrence said. "At 14,000 seats, I have real issue with that price tag. It's outlandish and I think the taxpayers are starting to realize its way too much."
Judge for yourself whether the project is out of control.  The current stadium seats around ten thousand fans.  The new one will include a two-story press box, a Jumbotron, and a field house with space set aside for a future hall of fame.  But it will be shared among several high schools, unlike the 18,000 seat stadium serving Allen, Texas, that has "has a state-of-the-art scoreboard, 42 concession stands, and 192 public toilets."

I may have to look into the curricular offerings at Allen and Katy (the latter is part of the Houston sprawl) to see if students have the option of calculus, astronomy, or advanced physics.

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