MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – The McKinney Independent School District on Tuesday broke ground on what will be one of the most expensive high school stadiums in the nation, serving three high schools.
Soon, an open lot at the intersection of Hardin Boulevard and McKinney Ranch Parkway will transform into 12,000 seats, and home for the school district’s football team, soccer team, marching band and other events. District leaders are touting the new stadium as a modern facility with space for community gatherings, banquets and class reunions.
The prominent location of the new stadium — with access to both Highway 121 and Highway 75 — was selected so that visitors could find it easily, including players for both home and away teams, and their fans.
This is part of a $220 million bond package approved by voters in May, which also covers renovations to schools. The stadium was initially expected to take up to $62 million of that money, but the rising costs of concrete have now pushed that total cost to over $69 million. The increase is not expected to impact taxpayers.
Eagle Stadium in Allen had previously made headlines for its size and cost. This new stadium in McKinney is more expensive than the one in Allen, but with 6,000 fewer seats.
The new facility will serve the McKinney school district for the next 50 years. It will replace Ron Poe Stadium, which has been in use for the last 54 years. But the district will not demolish the old facility. School officials plan to invest in Ron Poe Stadium in case they need that space later on, as the McKinney district continues to grow.
Right now, the district is expanding at a rate of more than 150 new students each year. Superintendent Rick McDaniels hopes that the new stadium will meet the district’s needs for decades to come. “In terms of projected growth, we just know students are coming, and we want to be prepared for them. We are in terms of schools,” he said, “but we want to have the other insular facilities ready to support them as well.”
The new stadium is scheduled to open in November or December of next year, before the last game of the next football season.