News: Friday night lights at Fort Hood’s Prichard Stadium
Story by Randy Cephus
FORT WORTH, Texas - Before the start of a central Texas high school football game, team captains from Harker Heights and Shoemaker high schools met on the 50-yard line for the coin toss, but it did not take place on the usual gridiron of Killeen’s Leo Buckley Stadium.
Instead, this Friday night kickoff took place at Fort Hood’s Prichard Stadium to mark the inaugural event of Texas high school football at Fort Hood.
“What a great day for Fort Hood and the surrounding community,” said Fort Worth District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commander, Col. Charles Klinge. “We are happy that we had a hand in doing a great service for our Fort Hood partners and the communities that surround the installation.”
The old Prichard Stadium was a Fort Hood landmark since the 1950s. It was demolished in August 2010, when Charter Environmental of Boston, Mass., performed the $1 million demolition of the old stadium to make way for the new Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.
“Its spirit lives on as the concrete that held the stadium bleachers and facilities were ground to form some of the fill of the foundation for the new medical center, while lights, poles and fencing were used around the installation in an effort to support environmental and recycling efforts,” said Capt. Cassidy W. Eaves, Operations Officer for Fort Worth District’s hospital program.
The new $14-million stadium was then built behind the installation's Clear Creek Post Exchange and features 5,500 seats with concession and restroom facilities for both home and visiting spectators. In addition, the sports complex boasts an eight-lane running track, and when entirely complete will have four regulation size softball fields.
According to Eaves, having the stadium ready for this year’s football season is a testament to great partnership between the Corps, Fort Hood, and the city of Killeen.
“We wanted to have the stadium ready earlier, but we experienced some delays due to some heavy unseasonal rain. We also had some unanticipated debris removal, because the project site was previously a landfill,” said Eaves. “Through effective partnership and determination, we were able to get it ready for the Oct. 19 game.”