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High schools: Taft, Speegle stadiums will be flattened, rebuilt

Two of the city's most historic stadiums have become run down over last decade or more. The Oklahoma City Public Schools' administration has worked to clean them up in their current form. But the time has come to rebuild.
by Scott Wright Published: January 6, 2013
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photo - Taft Stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma September 3, 2009. Photo from The Oklahoman Archives ORG XMIT: KOD
Taft Stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma September 3, 2009. Photo from The Oklahoman Archives ORG XMIT: KOD

U.S. Grant football coach Dan Burgess was asked jokingly — at least somewhat jokingly — by a fellow coach when Oklahoma City was going to bulldoze C.B. Speegle Stadium.

The question might not have been entirely serious, but the answer is: May.

Speegle and Taft Stadium, two of the city's most historic stadiums, have become run down over the last decade or more. The current administration at Oklahoma City Public Schools, led by athletic director Keith Sinor, has worked to clean them up in their current form.

But the time has come to rebuild, in the form of a $19 million project scheduled to begin in four months.

Each stadium includes some Works Progress Administration projects that will remain, but essentially, the stadiums will be flattened. The north bleachers and concession stand at Speegle will not come down, but everything else will be new.

Artificial turf on the fields, new tracks, bleachers, locker rooms — the works, thanks to a bond issue and other OKCPS funds.

Here's the catch: the 10-month project isn't scheduled for completion until early 2014, so five teams — Northwest Classen, U.S. Grant, Capitol Hill, Southeast and John Marshall — will be without home fields in the fall.

Work has been in progress on John Marshall's new stadium at its school site, but it is unknown if it will be available for the 2013 season.

So Sinor and the coaches at those schools are left to figure out the best way to play out their schedules without home stadiums.

The fields at Douglass and Star Spencer will be available at times, but each stadium hosts varsity teams already. If the John Marshall field is ready in time, that will help to alleviate the problem a little.

But either way, there's still work to be done to set the home schedules of those five teams.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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