John Tyler and Robert E. Lee have enjoyed a home-field advantage in soccer, if you want to call it that. Both schools were accustomed to the sloped surface and ins and outs of their respective well-travelled grass fields.
Well, that is gone — replaced by field turf, new bleachers, new bathrooms and concession areas and new lights. It is the second half of a two-part revamp plan that began with Trinity Mother France Rose Stadium receiving new field turf in summer 2012.
Rod Kaspar, Tyler ISD athletic director, said the upgrades will allow JT and Lee to host track meets, soccer games and other outdoor athletic events at their schools.
"We are trying to make it both as equal as we possibly can and still have them keep their individual" charms, Kaspar said. "John Tyler got new lights and bleachers last year, and now Robert E. Lee is getting lights, bleachers and they already have a seven-lane track down there where they can hold their Tyler Lee Relays again."
Last year, both JT and Lee opted not hold their annual track meets with the Earl Campbell/Emma Barrett Relays to return this spring to the new JT track and Tyler Lee Relays to Lee.
"I think now you are going to see that we have two great high school on-campus facilities that can host many different events — plus we have Rose Stadium," Kaspar said.
The area around Lee's field is a construction site currently with the turf being put down, former concession area and bleachers being taken down and soon to be replaced, along with new lights.
JT received its upgrades last year and will soon have its turf field installed.
Kaspar said the entire project for both schools should be finished before the first middle school football games scheduled to be played there on Sept. 10.