The Bozeman (Mont.) School Board has approved the design for a new $7 million sports stadium at Bozeman High School.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that the district had initially planned was to renovate the old stadium. But architects and engineers concluded that building a new facility would be cheaper than trying to fix all the problems at the old one.
Money for the project will come from a $125 million bond issue passed by voters last year to build a second high school and modernize Bozeman High.
The new stadium will be built north of the existing Van Winkle Stadium.
Some who live near the school urged the district to solve the high school’s existing problems with parking and traffic circulation before building a stadium that will bring more people to the area.
Kelly Berdahl, marching band director, said parking concerns are legitimate, but he feels the school district has compromised by adding 121 parking spaces in the middle of campus, east of the new stadium.
“Generations of students,” Berdahl says, will benefit from the stadium.
Retired teacher Glenn Monahan objected to spending “$7 million on football.” Nationwide, he said, participation in football is declining.
The new stadium would be constructed between a student parking lot and new tennis courts. It will lie on a north-south axis, rather than east-west like Van Winkle, and have artificial turf. The goal is to start construction of Bozeman High’s new stadium this spring and finish in the fall.
Bozeman High and the district's second high school, set to open in 2020, are to share the stadium.