Video: Spring ISD Breaks Ground on New Replacement Stadium
HOUSTON – Sept. 10, 2018 – More than a hundred people turned out Saturday to celebrate the construction of Spring ISD’s replacement stadium under the 2016 bond program with a groundbreaking ceremony that showcased district unity and spirit.
“We would never be here today if it weren’t for everyone working together across Spring ISD to make it possible,” said Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson. “Football rivalries aside, our district never fails to get behind a common purpose, and our Bond 2016 was a perfect example.”
Saturday’s groundbreaking comes as site work is well underway on the new facility, which will feature a state-of-the-art turf field and seating for 8,000 fans on a 117-acre parcel of land off Cypresswood Drive. Other features will include a community room and a special veterans’ memorial honoring the sacrifice of local service members.
Under a large tent, with a backdrop of heavy machinery, Watson thanked voters for passing the $330 million bond program that is funding not only the new stadium but three ninth-grade centers, two new middle schools, renovations at four other schools, districtwide safety and security upgrades as well as a range of technology investments.
Among those in attendance were the Spring ISD Board of Trustees, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, State Rep. Valoree Swanson, members of the Spring ISD Education Foundation and a long list of athletic boosters, community partners and school supporters.
“The stadium is really important for the children of Spring ISD – not just the football players,” said Spring ISD Athletics Director Willie Amendola, who opened the ceremony. “You’re talking about band, you’re talking about choir, you’re talking about drill team, you’re talking about cheerleaders, you’re talking about the CTE kids that are going to run the cameras and do all the graphics at the scoreboard. There are so many aspects about this stadium that are going to reach so many kids, it’s just so exciting.”
Illustrating Amendola’s point, dozens of students from Dekaney, Spring and Westfield high schools came out on Saturday to showcase their talents and excitement for the project, with performances from a combined drumline, cheer teams and choirs. Representatives from each of the high school JROTC programs presented the colors, while district football players joined in greeting and welcoming guests.
Joshua Cephus, a senior at Dekaney High School and quarterback for the school’s football team, said that even though he will graduate before the new stadium opens next fall, he is excited about what it will mean for younger students.
“I felt like they’re lucky,” he said. “This is going to be a great stadium … and it’s going to look beautiful.”
The design of the new facility was spearheaded by architectural firm Stantec, working in collaboration with district leaders to develop a stadium to serve the Spring community with all the amenities of a modern athletics facility. The district’s current stadium is more than 50 years old. The general contractor on the project is Durotech.
“It has a synthetic turf field so it’s gonna have the look and feel of a collegiate facility, really high quality lighting and a scoreboard, and obviously your students are going to make it all come to life when they’re out there on the playing field,” said Stantec Senior Project Manager Steve Parker. “We did this right. We did something we can all be proud of.”
Spring ISD Board President Rhonda Newhouse said the new stadium is a project “too important to do without.”
“We have a community that understands the value of athletics and band participation to the overall education of our students,” she said. “There’s no doubt that the same discipline and teamwork that is essential for victory on the field can help pave the way for success in the classroom.”
Former Spring ISD student and star high school athlete Tony Ugoh was also on hand to put the legacy of the stadium project in perspective. Ugoh, a 2002 graduate of Westfield High School, went on after college to play in the National Football League, including as an offensive lineman for the New York Giants, where he and the team won Super Bowl 46 at the end of the 2011-12 NFL season.
He told Saturday’s audience that experiences on the sports field can last a lifetime. “Everyone who enters this stadium will leave with a memory that they will never forget,” said Ugoh, who now lives in Spring and owns a Smoothie King on Cypresswood. “Whether it’s competition, friendship or fellowship, this stadium will be a huge part in building our future and building a better future for this community.”
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee also congratulated the district on its new stadium, presenting an official proclamation and even taking the opportunity to offer a celebratory high-five to one of the football players from Westfield High School.
“I’m very proud of this great school district,” she said. “Last year we faced Hurricane Harvey and look at us now. This is about investing in our children.”