The voters in Katy, Texas, who recently rejected a $70 million high school football stadium proposal, must be breathing a sigh of relief after what has become one of the most expensive prep athletics facility in U.S. history built just 18 months ago by another football-crazed town four hours north on Route 45.
To put it mildly, the $60 million tax-funded Eagle Stadium that is home to the two-time defending Class 5A, Division I state champ Allen (Texas) High football program just became a disaster.
According to numerous reports out of Dallas, the state-of-the-art 18,000 seat facility has been closed to address "extensive cracking" in the concrete. The news comes less than two years after the stadium, which features a $1.3 million scoreboard and other extravagant features, opened to national fanfare.
The cracks in the stadium's concourse were first discovered when the stadium opened in August 2012 and have since grown to as large as three-quarters of an inch, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Eagle Stadium, where Allen has never lost a game, will reportedly be closed until at least June pending a review of the design developed by PBK Architects and the work overseen by Pogue Construction. Only 10 percent into that review process, Allen Independent School District officials have already called off the graduation ceremony scheduled at the stadium and fear home games could be affected this fall.
"This is a significant investment for our community," Allen's interim superintendent Beth Nichols told the Associated Press. "We are very disappointed and upset that these problems have arisen. It is unacceptable. Our students, families, and the entire community have always supported the district and our commitment to them is to make sure this issue is appropriately resolved."
While PBK Architects would not provide comment when contacted by the AP, the firm is reportedly working alongside Pogue Construction to address the matter. CEO Ben Pogue told The Dallas Morning News he expects the structural issues to be resolved before the football season. His company is building a separate $32.5 million facility for the school district that is also allegedly under review.
Needless to say, the stadium had its critics from the moment it was approved in 2009, when many Texas public schools were slashing budgets, so this news can't be going over well with taxpayers.