Raleigh grants permission for Athens Drive High renovations

Posted January 17, 2012

— Athens Drive High School students and their parents filled a Raleigh City Council meeting on Tuesday afternoon in an effort to persuade leaders to allow the school to do renovations that they say are 30 years overdue. The council agreed.

The school was seeking to update its football stadium, built in 1978, including building a new field house, replacing bleachers, repaving the parking lot and renovating bathrooms and concession stands. But the land, located next to Lake Johnson Park, is owned by the city. To make any improvements, the school needed the council's approval.

"We can't have a stadium not accessible to handicapped people. We can't have a stadium where bathrooms have toilets falling off the walls," said Karin Evanoff, president of the Jaguar Club, an athletic boosters group.

After numerous letters, the council approved a proposal on Tuesday allowing the school to make the upgrades.

"The city actually runs the land the stadium sits upon," parent Alan Keith said. "In order for county schools to do any improvements, the city had the amend the master plan that controlled the land."

Athens Drive High approved for renovations Athens Drive High approved for renovations

Student Patrick Mason said the changes are a way to make the school a better place.

"It's something we as a school can be proud to say, 'This is our stadium, our football team,'" Mason said.

Renovations could cost as much as $7 million. Parents suggested it be part of Wake County's next bond issue. To help with the costs, the Jaguar Club is starting a capital campaign to raise money.


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  • youngkv Jan 19, 2012

    its funny how everyone talks about the football team but what about the track. a new track would make the stadium look even better

  • zwamus Jan 19, 2012

    Football benefits very few, the jocks want a new stadium. Clearly the best use of the peoples money would be to close down the football program. Not only would $7m be saved but the annual cost of the program could go to EDUCATION, maybe teaching kids how to find a job after graduation.

  • gphotohound2 Jan 18, 2012

    and gov. bev wanting more money for education what part of education does this fall under . maybe it is time to look if sports or edcation is more important

  • twetherby Jan 18, 2012

    solarflare40: Since you asked, the football players, soccer players, lacrosse players, track team, and all the others that use the facilities would typically play in inclement weather, unless there is lightning. The issue isn't whether they are playing in it, the issue is what they have available prior to the game, during halftimes, and after the game. The school is 1/2 mile away. If they need to change, use the restroom, or have somewhere to go if there IS lightning, they must go 1/2 mile away.

    As for your other ridiculous comment, the school building itself is not a pile of "dung." Unlike the stadium grounds, the school grounds are only subject to Wake County Schools jurisdiction so the school grounds have been updated during the past 33 years.

  • solarflare40 Jan 18, 2012

    DANG! And I forgot the word schools after public!

  • solarflare40 Jan 18, 2012

    oops! I meant "staduim" not "system!" I probably should proof read before I hit "add comment."

  • sammysmom Jan 18, 2012

    The alumni should do a pledge bet to see what class can donate the most money.

  • solarflare40 Jan 18, 2012

    RE: "As for the field house, currently there is nothing. If it rains, or is cold, the players have no cover."

    Ummm, so what do they do when it rains or is cold when they are not under cover playing football? They get rained on or be cold and no one complains. They can handle it!

  • solarflare40 Jan 18, 2012

    RE: "The school was seeking to update its football stadium, built in 1978, including building a new field house, replacing bleachers, repaving the parking lot and renovating bathrooms and concession stands."

    Wow! When I read the title, I thought they were wanting to actually make the students' learning environment better and update the classrooms - but NO! They got the go ahead to spend millions of dollars on a football system!!! No wonder NC public are among the WORST in the nation. The building is a huge pile of dung, but at least the precious football players will have a new stadium and field house!

  • RaleighNCGuy Jan 18, 2012

    Long overdue. This place was in shambles when I was there in the late 90's. It's the right thing to do for the students and faculty. I was always curious as to why our facilities were so sub-par compared to the other schools in the county when traveling for away games.