SPOKANE, Wash. - The future of Joe Albi Stadium is in question with Spokane Public Schools considering new options for its high school football games.
Joe Albi Stadium has been around Spokane since 1950. The 26,000 seat stadium is home to all Greater Spokane League games, but the district says it's time for a change.
Right now, the district leases the stadium from the city. The city actually runs the stadium at a deficit to the tune of $389,000 a year.
Knowing that, Greg Brown, the Director of Capitol Projects for the district, says through a series of studies they've identified three major plans that could work.
"We've got picture of Albi that have, that's full by a high school game standard and there's hardly anyne there so we feel that logistically having a more intimate setting, it's easier to supervise, more people might feel comfortable coming to the game that way and it just makes more sense," Brown said.Joe Albi future
The first option is to buy Albi from the city and then renovate it for $18 million. That includes reducing the size of the stadium from a 26,000 seater to a 6,000 seater.
"The press box is inadequate, the roof has been leaking for years, the scoreboard needs replacement, the lighting is shot," Brown added.
The second and third options are more pricey:
- Build a brand new high school football stadium at a neutral location for $23 million.
- Enhance five existing high school football fields for between $23 and $29 million.
The district is leaning towards the Joe Albi renovation option.
"We feel that we can operate it more efficiently than the city," Brown said, adding that instead of concessions profits going to the city, the schools' ASB club could profit.
And to pay for whichever option is eventually approved, Brown says the district has some surplus funds from other projects that are coming in under budget and they are also considering putting it on the 2015 bond. The district also wants to hear from the community.
"We want to know, hear what they have to say about the options that we're studying, maybe there are other options that they think we should consider," Brown said.
The district will hold a series of public meetings to discuss the three stadium options:
High school meetings:
- Shadle Park High School: April 15 at 6 p.m. in the library
- Rogers High School: April 17 at 6 p.m. in the library
- North Central High School: April 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the library
- Ferris High School: May 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Commons
- Lewis and Clark High School: May 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium
Spokane Neighborhood Council meetings:
- Hillyard NC: April 17 at 7 p.m. at the Northeast Community Center
- Northwest NC: April 18 at 7 p.m. at Browne Elementary School
- Comstock NC: May 15 at 7 p.m. at Sacajawea Middle School
- Southgate NC: June 12 at 7 p.m. at ESD 101
You may also read the district's stadium presentation in advance by clicking here.
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