Levelland ISD Bond Proposes New Lobo Stadium

Deteriorated concrete creates mismatched bleachers at the stadium.

Deteriorated concrete creates mismatched bleachers at the stadium.

Concrete is deteriorating and step heights are mismatched, a tripping hazard and a Life Safety Code violation.

Concrete is deteriorating and step heights are mismatched, a tripping hazard and a Life Safety Code violation.

Concrete is deteriorating around the foundation that supports the grandstand.

Concrete is deteriorating around the foundation that supports the grandstand.

The base support for towering lightstands is rusting and separating from the concrete.

The base support for towering lightstands is rusting and separating from the concrete.

Men’s restrooms on the east side of the stadium are in poor condition and do not meet ADA Accessibility guidelines.

Men’s restrooms on the east side of the stadium are in poor condition and do not meet ADA Accessibility guidelines.

Lobo Stadium was originally constructed in 1947 and holds many memories for generations of Lobos and Lobo fans.

Local resident Charlie Macha remembers fondly his Lobo football experience. Macha was a member of the 1957, ’58 and ’59 teams. In 1959 the Lobos were Co-Champions, with a record of 9-2, and Macha was a Co-Captain alongside Doug Cannon. “Being a Lobo football player meant something,” Macha says. “It was an honor to play and to represent Levelland High School and Levelland, Texas.”

Macha believes that playing for the Lobos shaped his character. “You don’t realize it until you’re older, but the things you learn playing football impact you throughout your life. When things get tough personally or in your business, you’re able to give 110% because you learned to do that on the football field,” Macha says. Macha recognizes that same strong character in many of today’s Lobos. “It takes something special for those boys to get out there and work hard week after week.”

Rick Ochoa grew up in Levelland and works for locally owned Big Three Pump Service. Ochoa was a member of the 1988 District Champion Lobo football team and also has fond memories from his days at Lobo Stadium. “The football team was a brotherhood. There was a bond between players,” Ochoa said. “Nothing was done individually. When we won, we celebrated as a team, as Lobos.”

While the stadium holds deep personal memories for many, it is no longer structurally sound. A recent assessment by engineers from Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, Inc. determined that the concrete is deteriorated and has significant cracks and corrosion, metal supports and light tower base-plates are badly rusted, and seat risers and step heights are mismatched causing trip hazards and violating Life Safety Code. Addtionally, the engineers concluded that the stadium in no way meets current ADA Accessibility guidelines. A monitoring visit from the Texas Education Agency in March yielded the same evaluation. TEA noted that the stadium entrances, fieldhouse, press box, restrooms and bleachers are all in violation of ADA guidelines.

“The stadium is in bad shape,” says Levelland ISD Superintendent Kelly Baggett. “We knew we had problems and the engineers and TEA confirmed that. We have significant structural issues that must be addressed.”

“Despite the conditions of our facilities, our kids and coaches continue to take pride in our athletic program,” says Jared Sanderson, Levelland ISD Athletic Director and Head Football Coach. “There are numerous issues with the stadium and it is really not a safe place for our fans or visitors. With the building of a new Lobo Stadium, we will increase the pride, morale and overall attitude of our team and our fans.”
Coach Sanderson also believes that a new stadium would benefit businesses in Levelland. “With a new stadium, we would be able to host multiple community functions and attract post season games from other towns. The ability to host playoff games will benefit the local businesses, from people eating at restaurants, to staying the night in a hotel and shopping at local stores. We want a facility that creates pride and shows everyone around the area that Levelland wants what is best for our kids and our community and will do whatever it takes to help them be successful.”

Field house showers are in poor condition.

Field house showers are in poor condition.

Flooring in the field house is in poor condition.

Flooring in the field house is in poor condition.

The ramp from field house, built in the 1960s, is not ADA accessible.

The ramp from field house, built in the 1960s, is not ADA accessible.

The press box is small and does not meet ADA Accessibility guidelines.

The press box is small and does not meet ADA Accessibility guidelines.

Deteriorating concrete requires shims to support bleachers

Deteriorating concrete requires shims to support bleachers

About KLVT News

News Director for KLVT AM 1230 in Levelland. We provide local and regional news updates 5 times a day on KLVT AM 1230 and online at www.klvtradio.com
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