Interscholastic League Stadium renovations underway

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KANSAS CITY -- Football players in the Kansas City school district are getting a new stadium to play in, after complaints of unsafe conditions are prompting action.

Work is underway to renovate the Interscholastic League Stadium. That's where Kansas City Missouri Public High Schools play their football games.

New grandstands that will seat 1,600 fans and a new playing field and running track are being installed after school supporters complained about dangerous conditions.

New concession stands and rest rooms, a new public address system, press box and scoreboards all should be ready by the first games on August 22nd.

But most importantly for players, a new artificial turf playing surface that will be smooth and soft and won't have dangerous ruts that could lead to injury.

Pastor John Mark Clifton of the Wornall Road Baptist Church has been lobbying for the upgrades after his congregation adopted the Southwest High School football team.

"We're really excited that the city and the school system have worked out a way to have a really great experience for these kids, they deserve it," Clifton said. "They work so hard to stay in school, they work so hard to be in athletics and it means so much to them to be on that field. To have that field look good and be safe, be a great place for them, is a wonderful thing. We have really wanted that to happen and have done a lot of work to make sure that happens."

The school district says this project will cost more than $6-million and is being paid for with money in the district's capital improvement fund.

There also will be some security upgrades, which was a concern of Pastor Clifton's after a shooting incident outside the stadium a year ago.

Lighting around the stadium complex will be vastly improved and the school district will have security staff on hand at all events. There will not however, be metal detectors at the stadium complex. A district official told FOX 4 News the history at these stadiums shows that they have been safe without them.

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