OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Plans are moving forward on a $5.2 million dollar renovation of Greyhound Stadium in Ocean Springs.
School district officials say the 50 year old, 5000 seat football complex has seen better days. It's not only a matter of looks, but one of safety.
The visitors bleachers have become dangerous, according to school district athletic director Mark Hubbard. "Up here at the top you can see how loose the fence is and there's nothing back here to really keep anybody from falling. This section here is basically the only thing you have from stepping off and falling off the back," Hubbard explained.
Under the renovations plans, the visitors section would be torn down and replaced with new home bleachers. Visitors would use the current home side of the field.
He added that under the Friday night lights, parts of the stadium resemble a crime scene. Hubbard noted, "These poles you see here had caution tape around them to keep the visitors from getting into this section and there are several places around this side that we had caution tape up."
The renovation is also about leaving an impression. The visitor's locker room would be replaced, for good reason. "Madison Central came down from Jackson. They knew about our facilities here so they just decided to stop over in Biloxi and dressed before they came here. So that was a huge embarrassment to us," he said.
Also included in the plan, a new field house, new concession stands, a new press box and new restrooms. Former Greyhound player Ashton Garner likes the new gameplan. "The idea of a new locker room, and new press box and new seats is definitely a very needed thing to happen," said Garner.
So does Mark Koch, getting in his morning run. He stated, "It will definitely bring up the attendance at the games. New bleachers on either side will definitely make it a more state of the art stadium as compared to what we have right now."
How do you sell this idea in Greyhound Nation? Hubbard answered, "If they have any questions about this project, to call me, come see me and I'll take them around the stadium. We'll walk and I'll show them our needs. We're not asking for something we don't need."
School officials say the cost of the project will not mean a tax increase. The money could come from reserve funds, and possibly redirecting a $3 million tax levy currently in effect for the renovation project.
A decision could come at the next school board meeting in May.