In two years, the Friday night lights will shine brighter than ever before in northwest Spokane.
And depending on who’s playing that night, the entrance to the new Joe Albi Stadium will be bathed in Shadle Park green, Lewis and Clark orange or the purple of the Rogers Pirates.
Full of personal touches, the new 6,000-seat stadium will include sloped grass seating for football fans who might want to practice social distancing, plus a playground for kids who’d rather not watch at all.
And if they get hungry, food trucks will be nearby.
The vision for a new sports stadium is taking shape in a big way this week.
During a special meeting Wednesday night, representatives of ALSC Architects will share their preliminary design with the Spokane Public Schools board of directors.
The meeting will be held on Zoom. The public may sign up to watch but may not comment, as this is not a regular board meeting.
If approved, ALSC will move forward with design development. Completion is scheduled during the summer of 2022. The new $31 million stadium will sit on the site of the current Albi Stadium – which will be demolished in stages – and just north of a new middle school.
Both projects were part of a $495 million capital bond approved by Spokane voters in November 2018. At the same time, a majority of voters urged the district to place the stadium at the current site rather than downtown.
The preliminary design is contained in a 60-page presentation prepared by ALSC, which previously designed the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, the McCarthey Athletic Center at Gonzaga and the renovation of Martin Stadium at Washington State.
“We’re fortunate to be working with ALSC, because they’ve tended to be one of the pre-eminent sports design firms,” said Mark Anderson, associate superintendent for the school district.
The project includes a multi-use stadium, an elevated press box structure, event lighting and 31,000 square feet of support buildings, including a locker-room structure.
The project also includes parking lots, access roads and future playfield areas, all on a site of approximately 46 acres.
The new facility has the potential for future amenities such as booster/ASB seating, patio suites and club seating options.
The stadium will accommodate football, soccer and lacrosse. However, the vision for wider use came into focus last year, when promoters of a rock concert sought to sell alcoholic beverages at Albi.
The Monsters of Rock reunion concert never materialized because of COVID-19, but in the meantime the school district moved to allow alcohol sales and to widen the new facility’s clientele.
“We heard loud and clear that people wanted it to be multi-use,” Anderson said. “The schematic design that we’re planning is for it to be more than just a football and soccer facility.”
Structural and other details are covered in the 60-page booklet.
The parking lot will be south of the stadium and north of the middle school.
Bus drop-off and locker rooms are located beyond the north endzone, which is where locker rooms will be located.
A play area has been allocated to the south side of the concourse. The space will be divided into play areas for children ages two to five, and for older children.
An 8-foot-high ornamental iron fence will be used at the perimeter of the stadium and will include service gates, man gates and gates at ticketing areas.
Planting outside the fence will be ground covers, with ornamental grasses to emphasize entry points. Shrubs will be located at parking areas to block headlights into the stadium.
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