The Pine Tree ISD Board of Trustees celebrated breaking ground today for the new athletic complex, which will become the new Pirate Stadium for the Pine Tree community. The new complex is located just west of PT Parkway /Lear Park Property near the existing Pine Tree Middle School and Intermediate School complex off Loop 281. Approximately 46.5 acres of land was purchased in the area.
“It is my pleasure to welcome you to this remarkable day in the life of this historic school district. In 2011, the voters of the Pine Tree community were invited to dream about projects that would impact student-centered schools,” said Superintendent TJ Farler, who opened the ceremony and welcomed participants. “Today marks an important milestone in the Bond 2011 project timeline. The design and development phase, which required the support of so many of you gathered today, has come to a close. At the end of this school year, we will see the end of an era for the previous Pirate Stadium, as we knew it.”
•Welcome & Introductions: Dr. TJ Farler, Superintendent
•Remarks and Introductions: Terre Dunn, School Board President
•Remarks: Jay Dean, Mayor, City of Longview
•Remarks: Judge Bill Stoudt, Gregg County
•Introduction of Student Representatives: Cindy Gabehart, PTHS Principal and Derek Fitzhenry, PT Athletic Director
•Musical Presentation: PTHS Band Captains conducted by Mark Melton, PTISD Director of Bands
•Groundbreaking Ceremony: PTISD Board of Trustees, Superintendent and Student Representatives
“Strong ties allows us to celebrate the changes that are happening at Pine Tree ISD, but at the same time hold fast to our tradition of excellence. Strong ties allow a community to see the value of a school district and be willing to invest in its future. Strong ties will instill in students the values that will serve them in this ever changing world,” said Dunn.
The agenda also included remarks from Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt, City of Longview and Mayor Jay Dean. Guests included the 2011 community bond committee members, district and campus administrators, coaches, and directors of the band, drill team, and cheerleaders.
The festivities concluded with a performance by the PTHS Band Captains, under the direction of Mark Melton, who rallied participants to the tunes of a fanfare. Attendees looked on as Superintendent Farler, PTISD Board of Trustees and student representatives ceremonially shoveled the spades full of earth. VIEW PHOTOS – CLICK HERE.
The New Athletic Stadium
The brand new complex, designed by PBK Architects, includes a circular drive surrounding a football/soccer field with a track and field area. Upon parking in the home side lot, Pirate fans will walk up to a ticket booth area to buy a ticket and enter the stands. Connected to the ticketing area is a concession stand and spirit store, all included in an area underneath the bleachers. An elevator behind the booth will lead up to a press box that will sit atop the ticket booth area.
Upon entering the stands themselves, fans will be on a concourse level. They can either go to a lower level of seats that span the length of the field and track, or climb a stairway to go to a higher seating level. The new athletic complex is built for 100 percent compliance with accessibility requirements.
The football/soccer field is surrounded by a track. At one end of the field is a berm area that can be used for additional grass seating and at the other end is a field house. The home and visitor game day field house include changing facilities split into areas to accommodate different teams. The architects designed the visitor area to exit on one side and home area to exit in the front. The scoreboard will sit atop the field house.
The Athletic Stadium is one project among several projects, which were part of the Pine Tree ISD $29.9 million bond referendum, which passed in 2011. Additional projects include the following. Read more at the 2011 Bond Update Web Page.
- Replace the Technology – Wide Area Network with business class components and a true core switch. This will provide each campus with a robust wireless infrastructure to support a variety of wireless devices such as laptops, iPads, iPod Touches and computers on all campuses.
- Provide Technology – Local Area Network Upgrades at the High School, Junior High and Intermediate campuses.
Career / Co-Curricular Facilities:
- Remodel the classrooms at the high school for the growing Career and Technology classes at the high school which includes Media Technology.
- Remodel and upgrade the existing home economics classroom to serve the Culinary Arts Program at the high school.
- Provide HS Theater renovations: lighting, sound, ADA upgrades and interior/foyer upgrades.
- Provide improved area for drill team and locker rooms at the high school.
- Build a new field house for tennis / softball and girls soccer.
- Add 43 parking spaces near fields for softball complex and tennis courts.
- Improve Swimming Pool facility for an extended swim season.
- Expand the football practice fields to accommodate additional area.
- Resurface existing practice track.
Maintenance and Infrastructure Support:
- Replace the HAVC (Air conditioning units) on the high school campus.
- Provide the asbestos abatement and renovation of the 600 building at the high school.