Muddy ground surrounded by fencing on Knox Abbott Boulevard will be transformed in coming months into the new home for Brookland-Cayce High football and soccer games.
Lexington 2 school officials on Friday celebrated the start of building a stadium that has been a long-delayed dream.
It was a prelude to the Bearcats’ first football game of the season in its current stadium, built in the early 1950s and nicknamed “the cage” for its small size.
The new stadium is due to be ready for games next fall.
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It will become a “tremendous source of pride” for students and surrounding communities, school board chairman Bill Bingham predicted.
The project — first proposed 15 years ago — has been delayed by a battle with Cayce city leaders over its design and placement, and then by lack of money.
Those delays meant the site sat unused for a decade after a motel on it was razed.
When finished, the stadium will seat up to 5,000, with lights that avoid problems for motorists passing on the nearby thoroughfare.
It will become “an asset on one of our major corridors,” said Mayor Elise Partin, who was elected after city officials settled their dispute with school officials.
Admission will be through school grounds at the rear of the new stadium.
Its price tag is the bulk of a $9.2 million package of improvements in sports facilities at Brookland-Cayce and Airport High, all paid for by savings and money set aside for renovations. Both fields will have artificial turf fields, similar to that being put in at other Midlands stadiums.