Construction of Jefferson High School's new football stadium delayed

Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 10:51pm

Five months after being promised a new football stadium, Jefferson High School will have to wait even longer for upgrades to its football field that could put the spirit back into their sports.

"Being the athletic coordinator and head football coach, I've got to support this. I'm going to support this for our students here," said Jefferson's Head Football Coach Jim Clark.

In January, the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) announced it would use money from a 2007 Bond Reallocation Project to build new grandstands for both Franklin High School and Jefferson's football fields.

The 6,000 seat stands would include a pressbox, a PA, and concession stands with restrooms.

"The grandstands complete this whole institution," said Coach Clark.

Franklin's stands should be ready in the fall but Jefferson is having problems trying to figure out how they'll build their stands without taking space away from their nearby baseball field.

If architects can't work out the kinks, Jefferson's baseball team would have to play off campus at a nearby park.

"We're trying to keep our field here and our baseball field has a lot of tradition. For years we played here," said Jefferson High School's Varsity Baseball Coach Richard Scott.

But the new grandstands would bring a number of sports back onto the Jefferson campus.

The school's softball team has been playing at Henderson Middle School, the football team has been playing their home games at Bowie High School for more than six decades, and their track teams meet there, as well.

"We're kind of this split campus," said Coach Clark.

"We're going and we're playing our home games at a stadium with our rivals. There's a lot of tension regardless so using their field kind of just puts us underneath, pride-wise especially, so if we had our own field, even our football players would be pumped up," said Sandra Garcia, a junior at Jefferson High School.

EPISD says they don't yet have a timeline for when architects will complete the design process and start building the new $1.2 million grandstands at Jefferson High School.

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