Feb. 17, 2017
CONTACT: Dr. Walter Wendler, 806-651-2100, firstname.lastname@example.org
COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, email@example.com
WTAMU Announces Agreement-in-Principle with CISD on Kimbrough
CANYON, Texas— West Texas A&M University officials took another step toward an on-campus football stadium Friday and announced an agreement-in-principle with the Canyon Independent School District (CISD) for the transfer of Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.
Plans for both the new and current stadiums were announced during a press conference at the offices of the Canyon Independent School District and mark a unifying partnership for the common good of the extended community.
Dr. Walter Wendler, WTAMU president, said he will seek final approval for the construction of an on-campus stadium for WTAMU from the Texas A&M University Board of Regents in April as well as the proposed transfer of Kimbrough Memorial Stadium to CISD. The CISD school board of trustees will also have to approve the transfer agreement.
WTAMU students voted yes to a new on-campus stadium in March 2016, but further study of the plan was announced in September under Wendler’s new leadership. A Houston firm was hired to evaluate the cost and scope of building a new stadium compared to that of renovating Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.
Wendler said the second estimate for the new on-campus stadium was very close to that given in the original program-of-requirements study. The cost of bringing Kimbrough Memorial Stadium up to program-of-requirements standard and addressing accessibility was higher than a new on-campus stadium. Talks with officials at CISD about a transfer of ownership of the current stadium played a major role in the decision to build an on-campus stadium.
“My goal was to do what was in the best interest of West Texas A&M University and a benefit to Canyon Independent School District, Canyon and Amarillo,” Wendler said. “If this didn’t benefit everyone, we wouldn’t do it—it was something that needed to work together for the common good.”
The three stadiums between the cities of Amarillo and Canyon—Dick Bivins Stadium in Amarillo and Kimbrough Memorial Stadium and WTAMU’s new Buffalo Stadium in Canyon—would reinforce the area as the playoff capital of the Texas Panhandle. No other location in the top 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle can offer the convenience of three stadiums or the added amenities of restaurants and lodging for traveling fans.
“With the immense growth in Canyon and south Amarillo, Kimbrough offers the community an incredible venue for high school athletics and other events that wouldn’t exist without this partnership,” Darryl Flusche, CISD superintendent, said. “It’s very forward thinking of both the University and the school district, and we appreciate the school board and their support in this venture.”
Canyon Mayor Quinn Alexander commended WTAMU and CISD for their leadership in gathering information and talking with community members throughout the decision process.
“We congratulate all involved in maintaining the spirit and heritage of Kimbrough Stadium,” he said. “Our city and the entire Texas Panhandle region take pride in the continuing growth of WTAMU that furthers our local quality of life and continues to educate our children and young adults.”
Under the plan, the new football facility would be constructed just north of Jarrett Hall, where the current soccer/track field is located. The soccer/track field will be relocated just north of the current practice field. The 10-12,000-seat stadium is planned as a horseshoe configuration with the open end at the south end of the field. Concessions and restrooms would be scattered throughout. Construction of the new stadium could begin in late 2017. The soccer/track field would be scheduled for completion in August 2018, while the football stadium would open in summer 2019.