MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Mobile County Public School System, MCPSS, approved a measure to start the process of constructing five new football stadiums for high schools in the district.
According to MCPSS, the board unanimously voted to hire an architect to design five football stadiums on campus. They will be at B.C. Rain, Davidson, Leflore, Vigor, and Williamson. Those schools previously did not have a stadium on their complexes. Basically, all of the high schools that currently play at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
McKee and Associates has been selected for the project.
Murphy High School is the only school that plays at Ladd that will not be getting a new stadium. The school system says that’s because Murphy is landlocked, and there is not enough space to build a stadium there. The school system is still working out where Murphy will play their home games.
WKRG News 5 spoke with several people who live around Ladd-Peebles stadium, the majority of who were happy the schools will get their own facilities, but concerned about what this means for the future of Ladd and their neighborhoods.
“That’s pretty much going to be the last nail in the coffin for Ladd,” said Zane Horn, who lives next door to Ladd.
Horn says he is worried about the future of Ladd and the Maysville community as more and more events pull out of Ladd-Peebles stadium.
“Senior Bowl is gone, what they want to do with the land? Is this a move to tear it down and use the land for another purpose? Well, you never know,” said Horn.
MCPSS says this is a big step, as schools will be able to generate revenue from their stadiums instead of having to pay to rent a facility.
The school system provided a recorded statement from their athletic director:
“Having the opportunity to not only have games on campus, but stadiums are multi-use facilities for on-campus events. It’s a great day, it’s just going to bring a lot of pride to the schools and excitement, and I’m looking forward to it,”Brad Lowell, MCPSS Athletic Director
Horn agrees the news is exciting for the students. “It was a big thing to play at Ladd, but I guess for home schools to know you’ve got your own home field, it’s a good thing for them,” he said.
The school system says the stadiums will be paid for by a bond issue from the state. The exact costs are unknown yet, but they estimate about $2-$5 million per stadium. They will be built based on the size of the school and their athletic classification.
There is no definitive timeline for construction yet. MCPSS says they would like to have built by the 2022 season. The schools, except for Davidson, will continue to play at Ladd until their stadiums are built. Davidson will play the 2021 season at Satsuma High School.