Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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April 19, 2014

Tomato Bowl flushed to bottom of priorities

Restrooms, dressing rooms in need of updates

JACKSONVILLE — The historic Tomato Bowl, built in 1940, stands strong on the outside, but according to some people the inside needs a lot of work in order to not be an eyesore.

"There's no doubt that the restrooms and dressing rooms are outdated," said Dr. Joe Wardell, Jacksonville ISD superintendent.

Local resident John Wingate said he once played on the Tomato Bowl, and he feels the district should attempt to update the facilities.

"I was so embarrassed when my family came to town and saw the neglect," Wingate said. "I played there on that field, and it means the world to me."

Wardell said two different facility groups made Master Plans, and they felt like a lot of the other district improvements needed to be addressed first.

"Everybody in Texas knows the Tomato Bowl," Wardell said. "But because of its age, it is harder to do renovations (on than other JISD facilities)."

Wardell mentioned the construction at  East Side and Joe Wright elementary schools as topping the list.

He said district officials are now overseeing the design aspects of West Side and improvements at the Nichols Intermediate campus.

Once bidding is complete on the two projects, school officials will check to see if there are any funds left for other projects .... the Tomato Bowl is in line.

"Our newest facility committee decides where the needs are and prioritize them," Wardell said.

Wardell said the track at the high school, the girl's dressing room at the middle school and a weight room at the middle school all need attention.

"Their (the facility committee) purpose is to be an advisory committee to the school board and set a Master Facilities Plan. Their job is a tough job."

Basically, Wardell said updates to the restrooms and dressing rooms at the Tomato Bowl are on the list ... however the list keeps growing.

"It's a great great facility, but we have a lot of needs."

He said facilities used most often by students typically advance to the top of the list, therefore pushing the Tomato Bowl to the end of the line.

 

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