Based on statements from the construction contractor’s project manager and a Mission Consolidated Independent School District official, there will be at least two more football games played in rented stadiums due to continuing construction delays on the new Tom Landry Hall of Fame Stadium at Mission High School.
That means tonight’s scheduled game between the Veterans Memorial High School Patriots and the Laredo Martin High School Tigers had to be played last night at La Joya High School. And on Sept. 22 it will be the Eagles versus the Eagles when Mission High School plays Eagle Pass High School at Sharyland High School instead of Tom Landry, said the district’s athletic director, Leticia “Lety” Ibarra.
Schools Superintendent Dr. Ricardo López said he was proud of the number of fans who attended last week’s game between Mission and Veterans Memorial High Schools played in Donna.
“Everybody won that game,” López said. “I was so proud to be part of that community.”
Asked Wednesday night by the district’s board of trustees, Rick Rivera, the school district’s assistant superintendent of operations, said the most recent completion date estimate is Sept. 26, which would be two days before Veterans Memorial High School is set to play the Laredo Cigarroa High School Toros in a Thursday night game in Tom Landry Hall of Fame Stadium. If the stadium is not available the district is in negotiations with Valley View High School in Pharr, Ibarra said.
Mission High School’s second home game of the season is scheduled on Friday, Sept. 29 against La Joya’s Coyotes. Ibarra said that game will be played at Sharyland High School if necessary.
“We have our plan Bs in place just in case the stadium is still not ready,” Ibarra said of the Tom Landry Stadium.
Michael C. Montalvo, project manager for Holchemont Ltd., the McAllen-based construction company building the $8 million, 9,000-seat stadium, told the Progress Times Wednesday he hopes the stadium will be completed by Sept. 22 with the exception of the elevator which will carry both home and visiting coaches to the 70-foot tall press box. He said Hurricane Harvey delayed the elevator’s delivery from Houston until Tuesday of this week and that the installation began the next day. The project’s architect, Eli Alvarado, told the board last week installation of the elevator would take about 10 days. Montalvo said Wednesday he was investigating whether or not it would be permissible for the press box to be used prior to the elevator’s completion because it is accessible by the bleacher stairs.
Montalvo said the visitor’s side bleachers were 98 percent complete and that he expected the rest of the stadium, except the elevator, to be completed by next Friday. Montalvo said once the elevator is complete it will depend on how long it takes a state inspector to give their seal of approval on when it becomes operational. Rivera also told the board the city and fire marshal must also inspect and approve the stadium before it can be occupied.
On Wednesday night the school board granted the construction company an additional seven-day extension on its contract making the contractual completion day Sept. 12. The extension was granted because the district delayed construction while trenches and holes were dug to accommodate a state-of-the-art public address system that was chosen late in the construction process. A previous 15-day contractual delay was granted because of rain and student testing days that at the time moved the contractual completion date to Sept. 4, Rivera told trustees.
Montalvo said Wednesday he plans to request an additional 10-day contractual delay due to Hurricane Harvey, which along with the elevator kept several other materials needed to complete the stadium stranded in Houston. Montalvo said some but not all of those materials had been delivered to Mission High School as of Wednesday. Montalvo said he would not submit the extension to trustees until month’s end when he submits his monthly billing to the school district. By contract the construction company is penalized $1,500 a day for every day the project is not completed beyond its contractual completion date.
District lowers tax rate
Among other business Wednesday, district trustees gave final approval to a tax rate next year of $1.35 per $100 of assessed property valuation, a reduction of nearly a penny from the current rate, said Rumalda Ruiz, assistant superintendent for finance. The board held two pubic hearings on the proposed $182.9 million budget since it was first publicly proposed in July but no one appeared at either hearing to oppose the tax rate or budget that takes effect at the end of the month.