Carthage Independent School District voters went to the polls last weekend and approved all three propositions for the district, which was good news for the Bulldog football teams and other athletic programs as well.
Proposition 1, which had 84.5 percent approval, is in the amount of $9.5 million and will include a number of maintenance, technology and various renovations to the district. Included in those renovations and updates included upgrades to Bulldog Gymnasium on the high school campus and a complete renovation to the Carthage Junior High Gymnasium.
Proposition 2, which received 68.6 percent approval rating, is for $750,000, which will be spent on a new state-of-the-art Jumbotron scoreboard for Bulldog Stadium. The scoreboard will be the largest in the state, according to CHS Athletics Director Scott Surratt.
Proposition 3, which received 73.7 percent approval, is for $3.25 million and will be used to construct and indoor practice facility for the Carthage athletics department and other campus organizations.
Here's a closer look at the athletic enhancements that were approved:
The Carthage Junior High Gymnasium is in need of a complete overhaul, according to CISD Superintendent Dr. Glenn Hambrick. Approximately $2.1 million of the proposition's funds will be used for renavations on the gym.
Enhancements include replacing the floor and the lower pull-out bleachers. New insulation will be installed, along with a drop-down ceiling in the existing facility. The walls will also be re-insulated and new wall materials will be installed. On the upper level, the current concrete bleachers will receive padded seats.
There will be other renovations to the facility as well, including the lobby, restrooms and locker rooms.
Hambrick said he was the estimated start of the renovations was after next basketball season at the school.
Also included in Proposition 1 include new scoreboards being installed in the junior high gymnasium and in the Libby Elementary Gymnasium.
In Bulldog Gymnasium at the high school, new scoreboards will be installed at both ends of the main floor. Hambrick said, depending on costs, a new scoreboard could be installed overhead in the middle of the facility.
New pull-out chair-back seats are scheduled to be installed in the gymnasium, similar to those in the civic center in Carthage.
There will be no painting and art work as well, which will be completed this summer, along with the installation of the scoreboards. Hambrick said the installation of the new seating will depend the availability.
The estimated cost of renovations to 1,000-capacity Bulldog gymnasium is $600,000.
A restroom and concession building is also planned next to the Carthage High School tennis courts.
With the district already featuring one of top football and track facilities in East Texas, the addition of the new Jumbotron scoreboard will make it second-to-none, according to Surratt.
"This will give us the best scoreboard in the state," Surratt said this week. "It will have the largest screen of any high school and make our facility as good as anybody and better than most."
According to Hambrick, the scoreboard will measure 45'x58' in size, with the video display measuring 26'x44'. Also included are four cameras, which will be used to video live action to be displayed, along with replays of plays during games.
"It will take about eight people to manage," Dr. Hambrick stated. "Our Television and Broadcasting Dept. will be running it."
Hambrick said there will be multiple uses for the video portion, including football games, track meets, band contests and graduation ceremonies. He said during track meets the results from races will immediately be displayed on the scoreboard as races end.
Hambrick said the cost of the scoreboard is $749,950. It is scheduled to be installed this summer and be online in time for the 2012 football season.
The indoor practice facility will be constructed at an estimated cost of $3.25 million and be built inside the running track on the CHS practice field, which is located on the north end of Bulldog Stadium.
Hambrick said the building will be of legal width and be 110 yards in length - the size of an official football field, minus one of the endzones.
He added that the building will be cooled with large fans, which will pull air through the 52' high facility and keep temperature about 20 degrees cooler than outside on a 100-degree day.
Although no plans have yet to be drawn up of the exact specifications of the facility, Hambrick said there will be no windows, but may have ceiling panels that allow outside light in. But there will be no direct sunlight.
There will be 2-3 partitions in the unit so the facility can be divided up to be used for various organizations or teams or to divide portions of a large squad, such as football.
The facility will have field turf on the surface, which is currently on the floor of Bulldog Stadium.
Surratt said that the facility will likely be used more in the spring than the fall, but will also be used for various groups.
"If you're talking about football, we can get out of the weather if there is heavy rainfall or lightning," he explained. "Other than those conditions, the only other time we'll use it is every now and then, because the heat is so bad in the summer. It will allow us to get the kids out of the heat for health reasons.
"It will cool temperatures considerably, especially on sunny hot summer days. The turf on the stadium sometimes gets as high as 130 degrees with the sun. In this facility, with the temperature about 100 outside, it'll be 80 degrees inside."
Surratt said it will be used for practice in inclement weather for sports such as track, baseball, softball, soccer, cross country, as well as the band and other district groups as well.
Hambrick added that the facility will be open for community walkers during severe weather.
The construction of the facility will likely begin after the end of the 2012 football season, because of practice needs, Hambrick explained.
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