A practice field being built for students at Wiley Middle School and Reynolds High School could see improvements such as bleachers, restrooms and a press box in phases under an amended agreement that the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education is likely to vote on next week.
The practice field, expected to be ready next summer, is adjacent to Hanes Park and has been identified as the possible site for a new football stadium for Reynolds.
A school board committee on Tuesday recommended that school officials amend the district’s existing agreement with Home Field Advantage, a nonprofit group that has committed to raising money for a new stadium. The existing agreement, signed in 2018, said the school board would not approve construction of the stadium until Home Field Advantage had secured money to cover the costs of the stadium.
According to Colon Moore, the director of Facility Planning and Construction for the school district, Home Field Advantage asked to modify the agreement to allow for phased construction projects at the practice field. The first phase would be a storm water management system, artificial surface for the practice field and improvements to Hanes Park Road, which is inside the park.
The second phase would include such things as retaining walls, home and visitor bleachers, a concession stand and restroom. None of the phases included construction of a stadium.
Home Field Advantage must have the money for each phase before it could begin, according to proposed changes to the agreement.
The organization would also be responsible for any permits or design modifications.
The amended agreement will come before the school board for a vote on Nov. 16.
In September, the school board voted to spend nearly $900,000 on building a practice facility between Wiley and Reynolds that will include lights, benches and goalposts.
The field will be 200-by-400 feet, enough for two teams to conceivably practice at the same time
Most Reynolds athletes travel off-campus for games and practices because of a lack of on-campus facilities. The football team plays its home games at Deaton-Thompson Stadium off Clemmonsville Road.
Some people in the Reynolds community have pushed for years for the high school to have an on-campus football stadium. However, that has been met with resistance from some people in the surrounding neighborhood who say there isn’t enough parking in the area to accommodate football crowds.
Other critics say the school district has more pressing facilities needs.
The new practice field could be used for games for field hockey and soccer teams at Reynolds, Darrell Walker, the assistant superintendent of operations told the school board in September.