REFUGIO, Texas — The Refugio High School football stadium has been closed since January 2020 after chunks of concrete started falling from it.
But recently the school district's athletic department got good news from engineers who studied the structure's integrity.
Refugio ISD Athletic Director and head high school football coach Jason Herring says the engineers determined the damage is superficial, and after workers coat the stadium in apoxy, it can reopen in mid-August -- before the beginning of the school's football season.
"It’s still a concrete stadium, but it’s going to look like a brand-new concrete stadium," Herring said. "I’m just tickled pink for the kids -- for the community."
His joy is shared by members of the Refugio community who, prior to the stadium's closure, were getting used to extremely high quality football being played under the Friday night lights there.
"They haven’t played at that stadium seems like now for three years," Paul Ynostrosa, who lives across the street from the stadium, said. "They’re going to have packed houses.”
While Ynostrosa overestimated the length of the stadium's closure, Herring says his team playing in front large crowds is no exaggeration.
And that's not all that he says makes the game-watching experience at his school's stadium special.
"There’s more to Bobcat football than just the game," Herring said. "(There's) the stadium -- Jack Sportsman Bobcat Stadium -- all the history, all the tradition, our graduation, our marching bands. There’s so much."
Herring is also thankful that the Refugio ISD superintendent and school board came up with the funding to repair, and soon reopen, the stadium.
“I don’t know all the details, but I just know they found a way to make it work, and I’m real grateful for that,” he said.