District breaks ground on $11.4 million event center
By Traci Chapman
Mustang Public Schools’ $11.4 million event center took a major step toward completion last week, as officials held an official groundbreaking at the site.
The ceremony was held June 25, where dirt work has already begun on the new building. The center will be located on the east side of Mustang High School’s campus. The center was accomplished after a lot of behind-the-scenes work, Superintendent Sean McDaniel said.
“Many of our employees, coaches and our athletic directors have worked on this for a very long time,” he said. “We will now be seeing things come up out of the ground.
“Just having the equipment on-site is exciting – it’s the beginning of the fulfillment of an incredible vision,” McDaniel said. “Some members of the board who put this plan in place are still serving.”
The event center was part of the 2012 bond issue, voted on in April 2012. That election also featured construction of Prairie View Elementary and Canyon Ridge Intermediate schools, remodeling of the former mid-high school transitioning to Horizon Intermediate School, a new gymnasium for Mustang Elementary School, as well as gym upgrades at Mustang Valley Elementary, among other projects. Sixty-three percent of the voters approved the proposal, school officials said.
Jeff Woodard, MPS director of bonds and construction, said the 62,000-square-foot center will be used for a variety of events, including basketball, wrestling and volleyball. The building will have 2,240 fixed seats with another 500 portable seats available on the floor with a stage. That nearly doubles the seating capacity of the current gym, built in 1964, Woodard said. Seating in that building is certified for 1,294 people. The gym was given some updates in 2004, said Shannon Rigsby, district public information officer.
“The new event center is close to three times larger than the current high school gymnasium,” Woodard said. “All students and student athletes will reap the benefits of much-needed space in the gym, locker rooms and flexible seating arrangements.
“The event center will definitely be one of the main focal points of the high school campus for years to come,” he said.
The project is slated for completion in August 2015. Included in the space will be nine locker rooms for varsity, junior varsity and freshman boys and girls basketball, boys and girls volleyball and girls tennis, Woodard said. The center also features a fitness area, training room and coaches offices, he said.
The building is designed with a plaza-style entry and upper and lower concourses, which each include concessions and restrooms, Woodard said. Players and coaches will have a secure entry to the building, he said. MA+ Architecture designed the center.
“Credit must also go to the board members and administrators who served before and were part of the process,” McDaniel said, in acknowledging those people responsible for the project. “This building will be a legacy to them and MHS for decades to come.”