Friday, August 31, 2012

What Does $60 Million Buy?

$60 million buys an 18,000 seat high school football stadium. That's the price tag approved by the voters of the Allen school district for a new stadium for the Allen Eagles football team. The Eagles' first game in their new stadium will be Friday night against the defending state champion Southlake Carroll Dragons. Naturally, it's a sellout.

After the jump, what $60 million does not buy.

Apparently, $60 million does not buy any bike racks. That bike in the photo chained to the tree is the clue. There are probably several thousand parking spots for cars surrounding the stadium and nearby school. But if you ride a bike, you are left to find a tree to chain your bike to. And don't even think of bike lanes to get you safely around Allen High School's huge campus and across those acres of parking lots. I forlornly hope that somewhere there's an architect or school district administrator looking at the photo above and thinking, "hey, we forgot about bikes."

The people in the photo are waiting in line on Monday to buy tickets for the big game on Friday. The line extends about the same distance behind the camera. That building to the right is the indoor practice field, 50 yards of air-conditioned, weather-protected artificial turf. It's a shame they couldn't have added a few bike racks for real bikes to go along with all the stationary bikes in the grand weight room with picture windows overlooking the new football field to remind young athletes what they are sweating for. It's a nice athletic complex, alright, good enough to ensure that the Allen Eagles challenge for the state championship for years to come.


dc-tm said...

I wonder what that $60 million could have done to actually help educate students. The priority does not seem to be education. That is the shame of it, not the missing bike racks.
David Chenoweth

Mark Steger said...

Perversely, the state legislature lets school districts spend money freely on buildings but not classroom teaching. The Allen bond package that included the $60 million stadium included another $60 million for a new fine arts auditorium, transportation maintenance facility, food preparation facility, etc. The school already has plenty of classrooms, science labs, music rooms, etc., that would be the envy of many schools. The Allen community has enough money for both athletics and academics. The only thing it overlooked was bike racks.

Mark Steger said...

After attending the first game, I have to say there are a couple of things besides bike racks that $60 million doesn't buy. It doesn't buy any drinking fountains and it doesn't buy enough concession stands to sell water to a sellout crowd on a 90+ degree night.