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MCISD Board approves improvements to athletic facilities

MCISDlogoMISSION—The Mission CISD Board agreed to budget for improvements to Tom Landry Stadium and Leo Najo Baseball Field on Dec. 11.

Roosevelt Rios, coordinator for purchasing, said the district had two options, and each option covered work on the Tom Landry Press Box, stadium bleachers and Leo Najo Baseball Field Bleachers.

“My concern is if you do a renovation or something like that, how do you know what the shelf life is for that,” said trustee Patricia O'Caña-Olivarez. “I know you like to bring us the less expensive option, but we need to know are we going to be spending what we would’ve saved at the end anyway.”

Renovations to the press box total $833,000, while option 2 totaled to almost $1.1 million for a press box with prefab construction. O’Caña-Olivarez said she would rather take the more expensive option if it will save the district money in the long run.

“The difference is the stadium press box renovations are estimated at $80,000 and if we use a prefab press box it would be $340,000,” Rios said.

Board President Oscar Martinez said next year people would be able to see a completely changed stadium with new bleachers as well as new track and turf. He added if the district kept adding paint and easy fixes to the stadium, it would not match the changes.

Athletic Director Joe Sanchez said his main concern is over the amount of people in the press box, including announcers, students and media. Rios added there also are ADA laws that had to be met when upgrading the stadium and bleachers.

Rick Rivera, executive director for maintenance, facilities and construction, said a concerned citizen brought up the issue of inadequate seating at the stadium.

“Once we started looking into the regulations, we are not in compliance,” Rivera said. “We need 36 ADA seats on the home side, and we need 30 on the visitors side. Whether the district wishes to comply with it, well that is up to the district.”

David Hansen, attorney for MCISD, said the district does have the option to comply or not comply with ADA laws. Hansen added the cost of not complying with the law could sometimes be heavy.

“It’s not just that (cost), it’s also the human part of it as well,” Hansen said. “I’m sure the board is concerned and would like to make sure the facilities are accessible to everyone.”

The cost to follow ADA laws at the Tom Landry Stadium totals to $500,000, while the cost to create new bleachers at the Leo Najo Baseball Field is $120,000. The baseball field currently has wooden planks and floorboards that serve as seats; they will be replaced with aluminum.

The board approved option 2 for the project, which includes the prefab press box. According to Rios, all three items were brought together to economize on engineering and testing fees.

Trustees also agreed to seek proposals for the project, as well as approved the hiring of Ricardo Hinojosa Engineering. The company will act as the district’s representative on the project, as they have done work in the past on the press box at the Tom Landry Stadium.

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