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High schools hope for new stadiums

By KTVA CBS 11 News 2:51 PM May 1, 2013

Sports fields look for upgrade

ANCHORAGE – Two Anchorage high schools are looking to make some big improvements to their sports fields. Officials at West and Service are hoping to get the go ahead to put in stadium seating that could hold more than 2,000 spectators and allow them to play home games at home.

At Service High School they have a brand new turf field and track that was finished just this fall. But there’s something the new facility doesn’t offer Cougar fans,that’s a place to watch the game.

“The vision here is to have a Service High School sports complex,” said Service Athletic Director Jim Caldarera. “That would complete the vision of having a field, a track and seating.”

Service hasn’t been able to host a football game in many years but if their stadium project is approved that could change in the near future. The plan calls for seating for 2,500 people, plus lights and a new public address system. Caldarera says the hope is that having the facility at Service could bring the community together.

“We want to do it the right way and make sure everyone understands,” said Caldarera. “this isn’t just for Service High School, it’s for the Service High community.”

West High School has a similar plan. Here students share the fields with Romig Middle School.

“This is the original high school,” said West principal Rick Stone. “I’m not sure when this track was installed but it’s been here a long time.”

West is getting a new track and turf field this summer and hoping to have the stadium seating approved to go with it. Student athlete Leroy Elliott said being able to play football at his own school would be a big point of pride.

“It does actually give me pride,” said Elliott. “I love West High, it’s my home and it would be really cool to have our own Eagles just watching us and stuff, I think it’s going to be fun.”

The school district says both projects are already funded with state grants, they just need the city’s Urban Design Commission to give approval. If the answer is yes, work on both projects could begin by late summer.

A public hearing on whether to approve the projects is scheduled for Wednesday, May 8. It begins at 6:30 in the Assembly Chambers of the Loussac Library and public comment is welcome.

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