Fort Worth-based architecture firm Huckabee Inc. revealed renderings of the new Prosper Independent School District stadium at the school district board of trustees meeting on July 17. The stadium is designed as a multipurpose event center built to accommodate up to 12,000 spectators. The stadium will be built on property owned by the school district, just west of Prosper High School and adjacent to Frontier Park.
Josh Brown with Huckabee Inc. said at the meeting that the board had seen most of these renderings already.
“What we’re hoping for tonight is your approval to say that where we are and what we’ve done up to this point, we’re good to continue moving forward,” he said to the board.
His associate Joe Tremblay led the presentation on the stadium itself while Brown also discussed the district’s new natatorium, which is slated to hold up to 500 spectators and will be built adjacent to the stadium.
“One thing that was important to establish on this site plan was the orientation of the stadium,” Tremblay said as he showed those in attendance the artist renderings of the stadium. “So everyone can see, it’s oriented north, south, we’ve got the … press box and stands on the west side, visitors on the east side, and we have the community building facing directly north towards Frontier Parkway.”
The main entrance to the facility will be located on the west side, he said.
“Currently there’s the entrance to the Frontier Park right now, and it’s a single drive,” Tremblay said. “What we’re going to do is widen that into a boulevard to where you have two-way traffic, so that will also be reinforced through a median cut at Frontier Parkway so you’ll be able to come from any direction down Frontier Parkway and be able to enter the site. It’ll be a really nice boulevard drive that will take you into the site and that’ll take you right into the main press box, athletic office area. … And that will be your main visualization from a home spectator standpoint.”
He added that traffic will rotate around the stadium counterclockwise to continue through the home parking site, and then will turn into the visitor parking along the southeast and northeast sides of the stadium. There is also parking associated with the natatorium, which can be used as overflow parking should the need arise.
After discussing the exterior of the stadium, Tremblay delved deeper into what residents can expect from the interior of the stadium and how the spaces associated with it work together. He illustrated that the stadium will be two stories, with a lower concourse and the main concourse. The second level will house the concession areas, he said.
“I know there’s been some discussion regarding the amount of point of sales versus the number of spectators,” he said. “In this design, we’re showing 12 points of sales per side, which works out to be 500 spectators per point of sale. That is in line with what we were given, … so I feel like we’re in pretty good shape when it comes to that.”
The stadium also features a community room, or end zone building, on the lower level that will house the students during halftime and is designed to be a flexible space.
“You can use it for pretty much anything,” Tremblay said.
The lobby will run off the community room, which will have restroom facilities and a food prep area.
Funding for the stadium comes from a $710 million bond program that was passed in 2007. In an email Superintendent Drew Watkins said the approximate cost for the new complex will be $48 million, pointing out that the project is about $15-20 million less expensive than recent similar projects in the area.
“This project was scheduled to be constructed about seven years ago, but the ‘economy’ happened and growth dictated the need to push out new schools,” Watkins said in his email. “Since we are not opening any new schools this year due to the uncertainty of public school funding, we had a window to insert these facilities that are needed and long overdue but do not have any significant staffing costs associated with them as a school does.”
He stressed that, by law, bond funds cannot be used to for school operating costs, such as payroll, staffing or utilities, so the project will have zero effect on teacher pay.
Tremblay said the substantial completion date is estimated for June of 2019. Construction is set to begin in the coming months. The current stadium will continue to be used for competitions on the middle school level and larger track events.
Brown also gave a presentation over the natatorium site associated with the new stadium.
“There’s parking all around the site and a lot of the competition activities or any activities that are going to require all 500 seats which we have in this are really going to park up in the stadium site, and then if TFA (the proposed partner in the pool) has people coming to that, they would park on the south side of the property,” Brown said.
The pool will be designed as a 16-lane pool with eight competition lanes facing closest to spectator seating. The pool will be built with two, 1-meter diving boards located approximately in the ninth and tenth lanes, as well as some additional practice lanes.
“We will warp the shape of the pool to create the deepest zone obviously at the diving board, and then we’ll warp that back up to minimize the amount of water and hole that has to be dug, so trying to be as efficient as possible with that,” Brown said.
He mentioned there was some discussion about the west facing windows and the potential problem of the setting sun. He pointed out there will be shading devices located along the top of the windows facing west, and then some trees and vegetation will be planted to try to help block the lower sun.
He said he’s estimating a substantial completion date of March 2019 for the natatorium.
The presentation closed with a video taking the board members and those in attendance through these facilities. The three-minute video, and presentation overall, was met with high praise.
“Stunning,” board member Jana Thomson said. “It’s beautiful.”