Cracking high-school football stadium has insurance, at least

Good news! The two-year-old Allen, Texas high school football stadium that was shut down because of giant cracks in it has insurance that will cover the cost of repairs:

“Once this is fixed and completed, Allen ISD and the taxpayers will still have a magnificent stadium they can be proud of,” [stadium construction company CEO Ben] Pogue said. “There will be no financial burden for Allen ISD or taxpayers.”

That’s a relief. So now all Allen residents have to deal with is a $60 million stadium that its kids can’t play in for a year or so. Yaaaay?

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4 comments on “Cracking high-school football stadium has insurance, at least

  1. It’s worth understanding why a school district would spend $60 million for a football stadium. The lack of a state income tax means Texas public schools are funded entirely through local property taxes. The “Robin Hood Act” passed in the 90s requires richer school districts to send excess money back to the state for redistribution to poorer districts. There’s a giant loophole in the law, however, that allows a local district to keep a greater share of it’s revenues if that money is used for bond servicing for capital improvement projects. Municipal bonds in Texas are additionally backed completely by the state so there’s little risk to the district to do so. Allen and other wealthy districts have been exploiting the loophole for years, but Allen simply ran out of things they could spend money on. Every school in the district is already either newly constructed or recently renovated, typically to a level far beyond what is necessary. Their choices were either spend an excessive amount on something they don’t need or lose the money to the state. People being people, they’re not so willing to share with those less fortunate so they build a $60 million stadium as well as brand-new facilities for their other sports. It’s a loophole that desperately needs to be fixed, but since state politicians raise most of their money in places like Allen, there’s little incentive for them to do so.

    There’s no excuse for a two-year old $60 million building to be falling apart, however.

    1. Once again sports are used to keep money away from the tax man. In schools they have become a parasite that has dug its claws into our society.

  2. Thanks, Peter — I hadn’t heard about the funding loophole, but that explains a lot.

    I would make fun of the Texas legislature here, but plenty of other states have done equally dumb things…

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