Board approves plans for Reynolds sports facility

During the school board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9 the board voted unanimously to approve a 2,040-seat stadium near Wile Middle School and Hanes Park that will serve as a home facility for Reynolds High School.

Board approves plans for Reynolds sports facility
October 17
16:46 2018

Public comment splits between those for and against the move

Reynolds High School took a step closer to opening its very own sports stadium last week when the school board approved construction plans for a 2,040-seat stadium. 

In 2012 athletic boosters and other supporters of the school and athletic programs joined forces to create Home Field Advantage, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit with the mission to raise the funds needed to build an athletic facility near the school.

At that time the total estimated cost for the stadium was said to be $4.5 million. 

After discussing the possibility of the stadium a few times in recent weeks, the Board of Education voted unanimously on Tuesday, Oct. 9 to approve plans which show the stadium being placed near Wiley Middle School and the Reynolds auxiliary gym, but not before residents, students and others shared their thoughts with the board either for or against the sports facility during the public comment portion of the meeting. 

Those who are opposed to the stadium believe the added traffic on game days would cause more problems in an already congested area. Other issues with the stadium brought forward during the meeting were the lack of parking space, noise, trash, and the impact it would have on nearby Hanes Park. They also noted Home Field Advantage’s inability to raise all the funds needed to build the stadium.

Since launching the campaign six years ago, the fundraiser has raised just over $1 million.

“I understand the value of athletics for young people. I’m here because I love Hanes Park and hope it continues to be a part of the community,” said Helen Knot, a resident who lives near Hanes Park. “… Building a stadium of this size will have a negative impact on the park and the neighborhood surrounding it and will affect the people who come from far and wide to utilize it.

“… In addition, the design of the current proposed stadium impacts the aesthetic beauty of the park. The panoramic view of Wiley Middle School, a historic building which was beautifully and carefully sited, will be obstructed by the stadium. Something I ask you to remember is, once green space is gone, it’s gone; there’s no going back.”

Steve Raft, who has lived in the vicinity of Wiley and Hanes Park for more than 30 years, said although he is a supporter of athletics and was an athlete himself in high school, he doesn’t support the construction of the stadium either.

He said, “At my school there was no soccer stadium, there was no football stadium, there was no baseball stadium, even though the school district could well afford it.

“… Instead, the school board there put public dollars into teachers’ salaries and educational resources to make sure that all students had a good shot at a fine education.”

Those in support of the stadium argue that Reynolds is the only school in the district without a home sports faculty for sports like football, soccer, field hockey and lacrosse. Reynolds currently shares Deaton-Thompson Stadium with Parkland High School, more than five miles from the school. Supporters also believe the lack of a home stadium puts athletes at a disadvantage because if they don’t have transportation home, they can’t participate. 

During a recent forum for candidates running for seats on the school board, Pat Crowley, who is the mother of three students at Reynolds, also noted that students who wish to participate in after-school sports have to pay a participation fee to cover cost for renting other facilities for games and practice.

“… In order to participate in after school sports, this includes marching band, JROTC, cheerleading, children either have to pay a participation fee or they have to find their own transportation,” said Crowley. “Most of the students at Reynolds are not that fortunate and it really bothers me that our teams do not in any way reflect the school’s demographics because of this access issue.”

Todd Carlton, co-president of the Reynolds Booster Club, said if approved, 12 sports teams would use the facility. He said playing and practicing at different locations away is letting students down. 

“Admittedly every school has some diamond-in-the-rough athlete that doesn’t make it on a sports team for one reason or another. What I suggest is that Reynolds gives student athletes [a chance] who are all but disqualified due to circumstances entirely out of their control,” Carlton said. 

Before taking action on the matter, several school board members reiterated that the vote did not include any public dollars. As stated earlier in the original agreement, Reynolds Home Field Advantage would raise all the funds for the stadium. 

Although they didn’t dismiss the possibility of providing funds for the stadium, Deanna Taylor and Robert Barr said other projects like a new Ashley Elementary would take precedence over the stadium.

It is unclear if they have requested any funds from the school board. 

For more information on the possible Reynolds High School sports facility visit

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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