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  1. Abe Martin Stadium is almost 44 years old. There have been some nice renovations over the years, mainly the new playing surface, new score board and LED Video screen, new lighting, new sound system, some new Aluminum ADA seating, sealing the concrete stadium and lots of painting. So, this is not really intended to be a negative commentary. Still, we are not ADA compliant on our original outdated Press Box. Just waiting for someone to fall out of that thing and kill themselves or fall on top of some fans. It is dangerous and a law suit waiting to happen. No bathroom acess up there either. It is an obstacle course to get into, much less if you have to make a quick jog down those steep steps to the bathroom. It has a major injury waiting written all over it. Then, you have Our visiting dressing room facilities, they are small and antiquated. It has been so bad in the past, that some of our visiting football teams either dress at their own facility, then rides the bus to play here, dress on the bus here or rent a large meeting room at a local hotel to dress. After the game, they get right back on their bus with all the dirt, grime and sweat from the game on their bodies because we don't have adequate visitor shower facilities. That is unacceptable in Texas. Frankly, I am surprised we get away with our press box not being ADA compliant at all. I am sure LISD are grandfathered all over the place in that stadium. If you will notice , our ADA aluminum stands do not touch the concrete stands. That is a grandfathered loop hole around ADA on the concrete side. We need a new ADA compliant detatched Press Box soon and a nice Visitors dressing room built on the visitors side between their stands and the scoreboard. OR at least update existing dressing to 2017 ADA standards of compliance, we have to do something because they are terrible. Wish they could add hand rails going up the stands but the steps are just too narrow for that addition and that is too bad. I believe there were hand rails originally but removed later on because of space. It would cost 30-40 million to build a new stadium, maybe more. We have the land, between LHS and Love Truck Stop. Just can't see our school board or Mrs Goffney doing that any time soon. However, I can see them spending 8-10 million to completely modernize Old Abe Martin. You could add a state of the art press box, new field house down by the track, maybe renovate the old dressing rooms to concession areas. Tear out the old home side concessions and open up the concourse area. Then you have a facility you can live with another 15-20 years. The overall experience for fans would a be of better quality. O, I forgot about the deplorable rest rooms. I personally will not go in them after halftime, they are filthy, out of soap, paper towels and toilet tissue. Terrible for a 6A school. I know there are many loop holes schools play with to avoid expensive stadium upgrades. However it is hard to figure how we slip by being compliant with the American With Disabilities Act, especially with our Press Box. As for bathrooms, your suppose to have so many stalls and urinals to comply with 10000 people in attendance and I personally know ours at Abe Martin comply only for about 2000 people under today's ADA standards. Look, There are so many positive things I appreciate about Lufkin football, the Panther Nation, Our Community support for the program at home and on the road, Awrsome Radio and TV Broadcast of our games going back for decades. There are few other schools to compare with for this type experience. We do lots of good things. The new artifical field surface, new score board and video screen is awesome, as is the new sound system, new lighting and track surface all put in the last 2 or 3 years. Let's not forget a pretty nice Indoor Practice field and Weight room. All are real nice, in fact they are great in every way. Still you have to admit, if you have a disability you have the right to access the Press Box, teams that visit Lufkin should be shown the courtesy of decent dressing rooms, like we enjoy on our road trips. Even Nac has better visitor dressing facilities than ours. If you have ever used an Abe bathroom, especially after halftime, you know it is not a healthy experience. We have a nice 6A stadium in many respects and are a 3A stadium in other areas, all in one facility. Look, I don't mind voting FOR a 18M bond and paying an extra $40-50 dollars a year in school taxes to get something like these upgrades done. Maybe the LISD has some extra Bond monies laying around somewhere to help improve and fix ABE up and upgrade to ADA compliance cause it's needed badly. Especially the Press Box, if nothing else is done, that one should be for sure.
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