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PackAttack

ABE Martin Stadium is 44 years old

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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  Still, we are not ADA compliant on our original outdated Press Box.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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I can't see it happening anytime soon. They would have to tie in some other benefits, outside of just football to even begin thinking about pushing it to the public. Unfortunately there is perception that the football program is spoiled and don't deserve anything. I can understand some of it, but a lot of it has nothing to do with the current state of the program. This goes way back to when Lufkin was  making long playoff runs. A new stadium or at the very least a remodeled one would be nice. Didn't know some visiting schools are dressing out on buses and rented rooms. Thats embarrassing...

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Well said PA. They won't fix anything or make changes unless someone makes them though. I think we all know that. I'm also hoping for a school bond proposal to come up, but like timeout said we would have tie something else into it, such as renovations to the middle school or one of the elementary schools in order to pass it. 

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With better stadium facilities, we would be positioned to hold more events from larger playoff games to other sporting events to marching band contests. These events can bring in millions into the local economy. Maybe some economic development grants . . .

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I am so glad you have bought this up.I have been saying this for years.There are 3A schools that have nicer press boxes than we have.I also did not know about the other things that are in need of revamping.We love to brag about our hometown so we need too do something about it....

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Just an added note here. So many times when we go out of town to play a game at an opponent's Stadium they have nice clean bathrooms and maybe have someone working the bathrooms during the game (Conroe ISD) to make sure paper and soap are always available and the trash cans are emptied. Many times by halftime there are no paper towels no soap, trash cans are overflowing in our bathrooms at Abe Martin. I live in Lufkin and I wouldn't go in there myself. Look I know there's worst places we go that are worst in these areas than Abe but there's also some better places in 6A that we should keep up with and we don't. We could host a lot more playoff games, bigger games,  if we had better facilities for dressing rooms and even bathrooms for the fans. Band Competions too. All that goes into a schools consideration as to whether they play here or they play at a stadium with better facilities. For instance, Longview on the visitor side, is worse than Abe in that you have to walk all the way down to the end of the stadium, then walk down a long walk way around to the bottom because the concession stands and the bathrooms are on the ground level behind the stands, it's a pain in the butt to go anywhere there. Not sure about their dressing room situation there for visitors. Maybe there is future plans that we don't know about that the Lufkin ISD is considering and they just don't want to put the money into an old stadium like Abe Martin. I don't blame them either,  the concrete stands configuration is a dinosaur in today's designs of stadiums. The only way to make our stadium seating ADA Compliant is to disassemble and remove them or implode completely because the concrete structure design, as it is, does not meet ADA compliance in any form by 2017standards.  It's not worth the effort for the school to even try, because it would be a waste of school money and could not be accomplished in its present design layout anyway.  You could still make a better effort to help the restroom and dressing room deficiencies our fans and visiting teams are subjected to experience.

You notice I said nothing about the press box, it falls under the same ADA structure issue. It has to go away with the stadium structure too because there is almost nothing ADA compliant about ABE's Press Box.

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