Kilgore ISD trustees have approved improvement projects at R.E. St. John Stadium and Driller Park in Kilgore. The improvements are aimed at improving access for disabled visitors, as well as improving comfort for guests.
At a Monday, Jan. 13 board meeting, trustees discussed the plans before issuing their approval.
“This is the idea of adding some ramps to Memorial Stadium and then the idea of replacing some of the wooden bleachers out at Driller Park,” KISD Superintendent Dr. Andy Baker told the board.
The ramps will replace stairs currently in use at the stadium, which are not as accessible to guests with disabilities or using wheelchairs and are also difficult for large numbers of students to navigate at one time.
“I am going to recommend that we move forward with adding some ramps, aluminum ramps at Memorial Stadium. These ramps will take the place of the far north end zone and the south end zone staircases that we currently have. The stairs that we currently have are not up to modern specs. They’re very steep. I can tell you they’re very slippery. In my opinion, they’re too steep for the amount of student traffic we have going up and down and some of our parent traffic that we have going up and down this,” Baker said.
The superintendent added the district had received two quotes for the ramp installation project.
The chosen quote for the stadium ramp project included a total price of $49,073.
The ADA-acceptable ramps will only be installed on the home side of the stadium, as that is the only side required to include them under the law.
Baker said he asked the companies who submitted quotes for the stadium project to also take a look at the seating at Driller Park.
The chosen quote included a price of $51,229 to replace wooden seating at the park.
“That would replace all the current wooden seating with aluminum seating. It would actually install wider aisles in Driller Stadium going up and down the bleachers and it would also install handrails,” Baker said.
He clarified the project would not entirely replace the bleachers but would only replace the actual wooden seats themselves.
Trustee Dana Sneed asked about the condition of the seats at Driller Park. Baker replied that some were broken and some seating supports replaced.
“Can Driller keep going? Absolutely, no doubt in my mind we can’t keep Driller just like it is, seating-wise, and have it be that way for as long as we need it to be. I do think it can be better,” Baker said.
Trustee Joe Parker moved for the board to approve both items. Trustee Trey Hattaway seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.