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Renovation planned for Katy High field house

September 24, 2018

The Katy Tigers may be the stuff of gridiron champions but the field house where they train and where coaches plan winning strategies doesn’t reflect that reputation, Katy Independent School District officials acknowledged.

Katy’s field house was constructed in 1997. “No major modifications have been provided since then,” said Lisa Kassman, Katy ISD’s executive director of facilities, planning and construction.

The Taylor High School athletic facilities received upgrade as part of a 2010 bond while Mayde Creek while Cinco Ranch and Mayde Creek high schools were renovated from the 2014 bond.

Now it’s Katy High School’s turn.

“This is something that’s well overdue. The facilities for our coaches need renovations in the worst way,” said Gary Joseph, Katy High’s head football coach.

Critical training equipment such as stationary bicycles are kept in the cramped hallway because there’s no more room for them. But the cramped living conditions in the Katy High field house don’t stop there, Joseph said.

“My secretary has got three filing cabinets out in the hallway,” he said.

The substandard conditions at the field house - which supports all sports at Katy High - were discovered while Katy ISD officials were looking into upgrading the school’s career and technology center.

“It was brought to our attention that the athletic areas - particularly the field house - lacked parity with other athletic facilities in the district,” Kassman told Katy ISD trustees.

In addition to the exercise bikes in the hallway, Katy High football team equipment is currently stored in a cramped room accessible only by small ladder. The new field house also will have an expanded weight room, larger training rooms, and more space for boys and girls locker rooms - a 6,000 square feet addition is in the plans. Construction is set to begin in December 2018 and officials say they expect to have it completed by the end of the year. An additional 6,000 square feet will be added to it by the time the construction is complete, officials said.

Katy ISD officials said they’re tapping into savings from their $609 million 2017 bond election to pay for the upgrades at the Katy High field house. The project has support from Katy ISD trustees.

“I’m glad to see this. When we make things better for students, it gives them more success,” said board member Rebecca Fox.

Board vice president Bill Lacy said he wondered what Katy High was going to do during the construction upgrade. Coach Joseph said they’ll be temporarily setting up shop at the school’s former East Gym.

“It’s used right now for storage but we’re going to clean it out and set up a training facility,” Joseph said. “It’s not a convenient thing for anybody but it’s something that needs to be done. We’ll make due.”

mike.glenn@chron.com

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