Aldine ISD breaks ground for new Stadium

Replacement Stadium will cost $50 million, seat 10,000 for Football and Soccer

Replacement for Thorne Stadium to cost over $50mil

ALDINE – Groundbreaking for the W.W. Thorne Stadium Replacement Project officially began on January 20 with a ceremony that not even the cold or the rain could diminish the excitement.

AISD Board President Randy Bates Jr. said, “Fearless is my word this year. Everyone involved in this project has been fearless. From Board members to staff, engineers and architects … everyone has been fearless in their commitment to upgrade and re-imagine the fan experience here at Thorne Stadium. To say that it has been long overdue is an understatement. Like everything else — and people” (causing attendees to chuckle) “the stadium has been subject to wear and tear. It’s been 44 years since the stadium received this significant investment. So yes, it was time to set a new vision. I am excited about this new way forward for our students, families, and community.”

The stadium opened in 1979 and is named after W.W. Thorne, who served as superintendent of Aldine ISD from 1959 to 1973. Thorne’s leadership, determination, and dedication to Aldine’s students, staff, and community members directed the district through some difficult times, earning him the title Mr. Aldine. His visionary approach to education paved the way for what Aldine ISD has become today.

W.W. Thorne passed away in 2021 at 98. However, several family members were present at the ceremony, including his children Bill Jr. and Anita, his granddaughter Heather, and his daughter- in-law Melissa.

Also present were members of the administrative staff and community members. Student-athletes representing the different high schools and student performers (the Nimitz HS drill team and Eisenhower HS drum line) participated in the celebration.

“I know you are just as excited as I am about the first game when we open the new Thorne Stadium in August 2024! We wanted to give students and the community a gift they could cherish and take great pride in. The brand new, state-of-the-art stadium will provide a place to host sports games on Friday nights and be a staple venue for the community to use for training and other community affairs,” said Aldine ISD Board Trustee President Randy Bates Jr.

Bates thanked Goffney, the Aldine team, and Stantec — the district’s architect partner — for making the vision a reality.

Julieta Vega, a senior soccer player from Mac- Arthur High School, and Jeremiah Swain, a junior football player from Eisenhower HS, followed Bates. Both shared what it meant to student-athletes like themselves to have a state-of-the-art stadium to compete in.

Lakundre ‘Dre’ Thompson, executive director of athletics, spoke last, sharing how he and his teammates were in awe to play in a facility when he was a high school student-athlete in a neighboring school district like W.W. Thorne. And now, the AISD stadium will once again be a showcase.

“We are excited to bring a new, dynamic stadium to Aldine. Schools districts will once again look to Aldine,” said Thompson. “The same discipline and teamwork essential for victory on the field can help pave the way for success in the classroom and beyond. Experiences on the sports field can last a lifetime. Everyone who enters this stadium will leave with a memory they will never forget. Whether it’s competition, friendship, or fellowship, this stadium will be a huge part of building our future and a better future for this community.”

Aldine ISD teams will play at George Stadium in Spring ISD home for the next two years.

Thorne will reopen in August 2024. The multipurpose stadium will continue to host a variety of events every year. The stadium will be designed as a state-of-the-art facility to enhance the student and community experience. We’ll have a new press box, new concession stands, new restrooms, a new football field, concrete bleachers and platforms, and a front entrance on the West Side of the stadium.

Details of Stadium design

By Mike Keeney

AISD Trustees, Superintendent receive update on replacement stadium. During the December 12 Board study session, Aldine ISD Trustees and Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney received an update on the plans for the district’s new stadium, which is scheduled to open in August 2024.

Representatives of architectural firm Stantec/ Smith and Company Architects joined Fred Washington, Aldine ISD’s Chief Operations Officer, and Patrick Mouton, the district’s Executive Director of Facilities, Planning and Construction, to provide a progress update.

The demolition of Thorne Stadium, which opened in 1979, will begin in January 2023, making way for a new state-of-the art stadium that is designed to enhance both the student and community experience. The new stadium will be built in its place and will accommodate up to 10,000 guests with two tiers of seating.

One of its unique features include customized LED lights on the West Side and East Side of the stadium that can be used to highlight the hosting team’s school colors.

Additional features include:

— Locker room renovations at the adjoining M.O. Campbell Educational Center; (each locker room can be subdivided in half

— A two-story press box

— A new, larger scoreboard

— Parking lot improvements

— New concession stands and rest rooms

— A multi-use community room

— A designated plaza for band and drill team pre-halftime performances

— An open air concourse with concession stands

— An officials’ locker room and meeting space

— Multi-use turf designed for both soccer and football

“I hope our community is as excited as I am about the future of our new Thorne Stadium,” said Superintendent Goffney. “Seeing a rendering means we are moving forward with our plans of providing Aldine supporters with a showplace for them and our students and I am super excited that this dream is becoming a reality. As I’ve said before, Thorne Stadium served the Aldine community for 43 years and it holds so many special memories for our community, but it is our goal and responsibility to be proactive in ensuring that the venue in which we welcome our community meets, if not exceeds, basic safety standards.”

Earlier this year, Aldine ISD utilized a third party, Texas Sports & Civil Engineering, to perform an evaluation of the stadium. Texas Sports & Civil Engineering recommended two options for the district. One was a repair option, and the other was a replacement option. The district opted for the replacement option. At their June 24 Board meeting, Aldine ISD Trustees approved the use of $25 million in fiscal year 2022 and $25 million in fiscal year 2023 to cover the cost of constructing the new stadium.