NPS announces location for Norman North football stadium

Jan. 16—Norman Public Schools administrators have determined the final location of the new Norman North High School football stadium.

On Tuesday night, Justin Milner, the district's associate superintendent and chief operating officer, presented the plan for the stadium at the NPS Board of Education monthly meeting.

In cooperation with MA+ Architecture, the district evaluated two designs. The first would have placed the stadium on a parcel of land acquired by the district in June at the southwest corner of Stubbeman Avenue and Rock Creek Road, just north of the football/soccer field.

The second plan would place it on the footprint of the current football field. Milner announced the district will go with the second plan, keeping the stadium at its current location.

Milner said he presented the two plans to stakeholders, who overwhelmingly preferred the second plan.

"Because we had that ownership, we were able to explore different options," Milner said. "We started the process by meeting with the different stakeholder groups, like football, track and field, band, site administration, parents and booster clubs."

The second plan was picked, in part, because the first plan would have cut into the soccer stadium.

"The soccer families and coaches were concerned about losing their stadium," he said.

Through the 2014 bond, the district made improvements to the football locker rooms and weight room. Milner said that by keeping the new stadium close to its current it would make it easier for student-athletes to take advantage of current facilities.

With the current plan, the only team that will be moved is track and field, as the stadium project will cut out the track, which will be moved to the parcel of land at the corner of Stubbeman Avenue and Rock Creek Road.

"No one's losing anything. No one will be moved except track who will have its own identity and opportunity with the new track," Milner said.

Currently, the football stadium's home stands face the west sun, which Milner said has irritated Norman North families for years. He said in the new design, the home stands will face the east, so home fans will not have to hurt their eyes looking into the setting sun.

The stadium will also come with a new central parking lot that will facilitate parking for three different structures, which NPS Superintendent Nick Migliorino said will make better use of the space.

"One of the challenges of Norman if you want to get anywhere, you have to walk a long way," Migliorino said. "There [will now be] parking between the track, that will be the new stadium and soccer [stadium]."

Funds for the stadium became available following the bond passage in February for a 10-year $354 million bond for building and equipment upgrades across the district.

The 2023 bond resolution included $24,085,000 for the Norman North stadium project.

The stadium will hold 5,000 home visitors and 500 away visitors, and will include signage, safety lights in and around the facility, and concessions where booster volunteers can view the games.

Gary Armbruster, architect from MA+ Architecture, said plan B will be $5 million cheaper than plan A because the empty parcel of land is not hooked up.

"Option A will cost more for infrastructure, water and facilities," Armbruster said. "Option B, we are right around the budget we need to be at $14 million. With the other, we were $5 million over because of the addition to that site."

Armbruster said the construction won't affect practices for any of the teams. The track will be constructed first to give space for teams to practice while the stadium is being constructed.

"The good news is we will phase it in so it won't affect anyone," he said.

Milner said the stadium will be ready by the 2025 football season.

Migliorino thanked the community for supporting the 2023 bond, which he said will be used for more than just football.

"This stadium is more than a football stadium. While football games will be played in the facility, other student groups like cheer, pom and band will be able to perform during true home games, and the track team will also now have a home competition venue," Migliorino said. "School spirit will improve as contests are held on the Norman North campus, and elementary students who will be future Timberwolves have the opportunity to participate in field days and spend time on their future high school campus."

Brian King covers education and politics for The Transcript. Reach him at