Rose Stadium Turf Vote Monday
By EMILY GUEVARA
A decision about the future of Tyler ISD's Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium could be made as early as Monday.
|If You Go|
|The Tyler ISD board of trustees will meet at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the Dr. Jack L. Davidson Conference Center in the Jim Plyler Instructional Complex, 807 W. Glenwood Blvd. The meeting is open to the public. However, there is no public comment period.||
The TISD board of trustees is scheduled to vote on approving the synthetic turf replacement and renovations to the stadium during a 4:30 p.m. meeting.
The board also is scheduled to vote on authorizing the superintendent to plan and design changes to the John Tyler High School track and field complex.
These changes would affect primarily football, soccer and track athletes in the district and, if approved, would displace the longtime Earl Campbell/Emma Barrett Relays from Rose Stadium.
The plan would be to have the relays at another location until John Tyler's track facility could be upgraded at which time the relays would be moved there.
Last month the board voted 4-2 to table a vote regarding the turf replacement and stadium renovations.
That decision came after 10 people addressed the board about the issue and more than 100 showed up at the meeting.
The renovation proposal has brought out passionate support and opposition because of what is at stake.
If the district moves forward with stadium renovations as planned, it would expand the Rose Stadium playing field to serve soccer in addition to football.
However, this expansion would cut the track down to five lanes, meaning the annual Earl Campbell/Emma Barrett Relays could not be held there.
TISD Superintendent Dr. Randy Reid said the plan the board will vote on Monday is exactly the same as the one proposed last month.
"We've reviewed all of our thought processes and we believe that the plan we've put forth is the safest one and the one that provides the best quality programming for all of our kids, and we also believe that it is the most economically sensible one," Reid said by phone Thursday.
Reid said district administrators reviewed their thought processes and heard the comments made during last month's meeting and board members are hearing from their constituents.
He said several board members took time this week to go to the stadium and consider the options.
"We've just been asked to bring forth the plan that makes the most sense, and that's what we've done, and they'll have to determine whether or not they agree," he said of the board.
One of the changes that will come at this meeting is an additional proposal that, if approved, would allow TISD to move forward quickly with the John Tyler track and field upgrades.
The district's previous idea to upgrade John Tyler track facilities as part of an upcoming bond package would have hinged on voter approval.
Reid said one of the most valid concerns he heard was, "What happens if the bond doesn't pass?"
With board approval Monday, the district would move forward with planning and design for John Tyler track and field changes and plan to cover expenses with leftover money from previous bond packages.
TISD has more than $19 million available in unused bond money, Reid said.
Tim Loper, director of facilities, said the district likely would add an eighth lane, long jump pits, bleachers, restroom facilities and concession stands, among other things to the John Tyler complex. However, no work has been approved nor has a timeline been set.
Reid said if the board approves him moving forward with planning and design, he would want to bring back a price tag for the John Tyler project as quickly as possible. He said they also will need to determine the scope of the project if they want to address just the track needs or more.
"We're going to try to create the high quality facilities for the kids there and for the fans," he said. "It would certainly be a high-quality track facility."