Reynolds and Parkland High Schools have always shared a home football field, starting with Bowman Gray stadium in the 1960’s, then Deaton-Thompson since 1994. Because it was built to serve two schools, Deaton-Thompson is the largest high school stadium in Forsyth County.
According to school board member Leah Crowley, Deaton-Thompson will need a complete renovation in 5 years, and this is one reason Reynolds Home Field Advantage, a private fundraising group, hopes to get funding for a new stadium exclusively for Reynolds (with privileges for Wiley soccer) on the campus of Wiley Middle School, adjacent to the Reynolds gyms.
So Reynolds and Parkland have a shared problem but potentially different futures. They currently share the stadium in need of repair. But how would Parkland’s future facilities at Deaton-Thompson compare with a new Reynolds stadium partially funded by parents?
- Reynolds’ stadium would be adjacent to its campus. Parkland’s stadium is nearly two miles from its campus.
- Reynolds’ stadium would cost $6.2 million to build, at least $1 million of it donated by RJR parents, alumni and other supporters. Parkland’s stadium would still need an estimated $5 million upgrade, hopefully to be included in a future bond.
- Reynolds’ stadium would have 2,300 seats, although Home Field Advantage has proposed expanding capacity in a Phase II plan to 4,500 if more parking can be created. Parkland’s stadium would likely be downgraded from its current 6,000 seats to save on maintenance costs.
The booster group behind the Reynolds stadium plan claims that it would “correct a long-standing inequity with regards to athletic facilities for WS/FC schools.” Meanwhile, there are far more pressing inequities among schools throughout the district and within Reynolds itself.
Between Reynolds and Parkland, however, it’s fair to say there is stadium parity because they share a facility. The car/bus trip from Reynolds is 3.6 miles (10 minutes) longer than from Parkland, but one could say that this disadvantage to Reynolds is offset by its higher economic profile:
According to the free lunch data above and the standard definition of equity, Parkland would have more to gain than Reynolds from a new stadium adjacent to its campus. Therefore, building the new stadium for Reynolds actually creates a new inequity.