McKinney ISD Superintendent Rick McDaniel
McKinney Lions Field 1971
McKinney Ron Poe Stadium 2015
Question: Is the football stadium really 55 years old?
Answer: While the original structure opened in 1962, according to the 2000 Bond Report McKinney ISD spent a reported $10,119,614 to renovate needed renovations in the mid 2006. The stadiums real age, obviously, is closer to 10 years, than 55.
A family reunion under the Friday night lights in McKinney
Although voters approved a new stadium in 2005, McKinney ISD board decided to renovate the old stadium.
Here is an article from the September 25, 2005 Dallas Morning News:
McKINNEY – High school football fans here won’t get a new stadium anytime soon, but the current stadium will get a makeover by next season.
After reviewing four proposals to renovate the stadium earlier this week, the school board is slated to approve a final renovation plan as early as Monday.
School officials said the proposals, which include new seating and concession areas, provide the only way to improve the football facilities right now because the district can’t afford to build a new stadium.
“Someday, we will build that stadium, but this is our stadium until then,” Superintendent Tom Crowe said.
The four proposals, which vary in price from nearly $4.4 million to $5.2 million, all include major changes to the press box as well as new restrooms and bleachers. The two most expensive plans also include extra parking.
Regardless of which plan is selected, work is expected to begin soon after the end of this year’s football season and be finished by the summer.
Voters approved a $13 million bond referendum to build a new stadium in 2000, but school leaders nixed that plan in favor of building new schools to accommodate the district’s booming student population.
That growth also fueled the current $197 million bond referendum now before voters for four new elementary schools, a middle school and the second phase of the yet-to-open Boyd High School. The measure would not increase taxes but would be paid for by future growth in the city.
Early voting started Wednesday, and election day is Oct. 8.
Geralyn Kever, the school board president, said the district has only so much debt that it can cover under the current tax structure.
“The board looked at our financial rate and looked at our growth and realized that if we built another stadium, we would have to postpone building schools,” Ms. Kever said. “Our current schools would be overcrowded.
“We recognized that a football stadium was a want, but we have an existing football stadium, so it wasn’t a need.”
As a backup plan, the 2000 bond referendum also included $5 million for renovations to the current stadium, which hosts games for McKinney and McKinney North high schools.
The $5 million is expected to cover the renovations.
Ms. Kever said the growing student population, changes to the state tax structure and other factors will determine when the district has the debt capacity to build another stadium.
“I suppose there may be those who might still prefer to build a stadium ahead of schools,” she said, “but I think the vast majority, including myself, would have a difficult time telling children we’re going to have to put out additional portables because we’ve used money toward a stadium.”
During a board work session this week, Mr. Crowe said residents should not consider the renovations as a one- or two-year solution.
“We may get the bonding capacity, but the priority has to go to schools,” he said.
The district has more than 19,000 students and is expected to grow to 25,000 students by the 2009-10 school year.
McKinney ISD Board of Trustees: Never let the Facts get in the way of making a Bad Decision.