Katy ISD's $70 Million Legacy Stadium Reflects the Future

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Mark Vander Voort was admittedly nervous as Hurricane Harvey made Texas landfall in August. Little more than a week earlier, he had attended the soft opening of Katy Independent School District's Legacy Stadium, which for years had drawn national headlines as its price tag approached $70 million — unprecedented at the prep level. As director of the project in suburban Houston, Vander Voort, a principal at HKS in Dallas, was relieved to learn that the 12,000-seat stadium's bowl and adjacent two-level locker room and office facility avoided flooding during the deluge (more than two feet of rain), thanks to the synthetic turf's drainage capabilities and a pump system that worked even after the power went out. It's just one value-added feature that Vander Voort says justifies the stadium's expense. Others include motion-sensing parking lot security, home and away upper decks, a press box with bookend hospitality suites, twin elevators, 24 concessions points of sale, and dedicated restrooms for marching bands. AB senior editor Paul Steinbach asked Vander Voort to share his vision.

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