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Investing in the Future: Sheldon ISD building new athletic complex

If your daily commute takes you around Beltway 8 in Northeast Houston, you may have noticed some construction.

In the past few months, the transition has been noticeable. Going from being a bare dirt patch with a wooden sign reading “Future Home of C.E. King High School” to seeing the metal and concrete framework rising up.

Along with the new high school, Sheldon ISD has invested in what could be considered one of the most impressive athletic complexes in the city.

A new 10,000-seat stadium; stand-alone track stadium with a turf field; indoor practice facility; turf baseball and softball stadiums; covered batting cages; a two-story six gymnasium complex that will include an 8,000-square foot weight room downstairs and approximately a 3,000-square foot weight room upstairs all lie within this.

“There’s no doubt,” C.E. King head football coach Derek Fitzhenry said about this complex being the best in the city. “Not many people have done anything on this large of scale. Not many people build everything at one time. This is really the only place that has that in our area.

“It’s going to be one of the best, if not the premiere, athletic facilities in Houston and the state.”

This project is being funded by the $285 million bond passed in 2016, which was approved by 69.7 percent of the voters. The bond included the new athletic complex but also the new high school; a new elementary school and multiple other additions and renovations; district-wide technology upgrades; energy management upgrades and playground upgrades.

“We’re invested in the whole child,” Sheldon ISD Superintendent King Davis said. “To that end, that’s a part of the reason we’re not only building a new high school and additional elementary school, we’re also building state-of-the-art athletic facilities.”

The indoor facility will have a full width football field that will measure out at 60 yards and a 10-yard end zone. Fitzhenry said multiple sports and other school groups would use this. Fitzhenry continued saying this will help not only with bad weather and lightening outside, but also when the heat index is too high they can now move indoors.

The indoor facility at C.E. King will only be the second indoor facility in the Houston area, joining Barbers Hill High School.

Also going up will be the new 10,000-seat Sheldon ISD stadium, which will include a community event area, one of the largest video boards in the state and a 4,398 square-foot press box.

“That place is going to be for real,” Fitzhenry said. “It is really nice. The district, school board, superintendent and the community are doing it right. They’re making it special for these kids and this community. Something we’re going to be proud of.”

The one thing the new stadium will not have is a track.

A new stand-alone track stadium will be just for track, Fitzhenry said. It will also have a turf field on the inside for soccer and other sports as well. Fitzhenry believes this will give them a chance to host district, area and regional track meets moving forward.

With everything put together, Fitzhenry believes they will be able to offer everything that a student-athlete will want to have.

“Everybody knows that you’re building facilities because you want the best for your people who are there already, but also for

people who are moving into these different areas,” Fitzhenry said. “You want to be able to say, ‘Hey, look what we have to offer’.”

With all of these new facilities and the accessibility off Beltway 8, King believes this will give their district more exposure, especially when it comes to hosting playoff games.

“We want to market our district. It’s not taking anything away from our competitors, they’ve done a great job, but we’re coming,” King said. “We’re passionate about that and we have an awesome opportunity with the location of this facility.”

This article appears in the September Issue of VYPE Magazine. Pick up your copy at any one of our locations today!

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