And I thought 'Friday Night Lights' was fiction...
Lest the rest of us forget just how important high school football is to Texans, a high school in the state just spent $72 million dollars on a new football stadium—and they did it in the shadiest way possible. The school district apparently quietly added tens of millions to the total bill all while doing their best to hide it from their community. And now, to add to the mess, it’s come to light that they did this while ignoring the fact that they will need to build multiple new schools over the next year or two. Yeah, they forgot about entire schools.
The school board in Katy, Texas, a town about 40 minutes west of Houston, apparently went almost $20 million over their (already massive) budget to build what is being called “the most expensive high school football stadium in the world.” The stadium, which has been in the works for years already, is slated to be finished in 2017 and will seat over 12,000 people.
It Gets Worse
Sure, this is a ridiculous display of poor financial planning on its own, but it wouldn’t be so bad if it were for the second piece of the puzzle: The Katy Independent School District is also facing a significant overcrowding problem and is now left without the proper funds to build the new facilities that would solve that problem.
According to an article from CoveringKaty.com, a local news outlet, the district’s COO estimates that they would need “maybe four elementary schools. Maybe two junior highs and a high school,” to adequately deal with the problem. The district is currently looking at overcrowding at all grade levels, with a one of their elementary campuses already nearing the title of largest in school in the district’s history. Another facility, Seven Lakes Junior High is also dangerously close to exceeding that limit as well.