Plenty of cougars were roaring with pride Thursday night in west El Paso. Franklin High School celebrated the groundbreaking of its new football stadium.
The school opened in 1993. Fall 2014, cougars will finally be able to play football games and host other events on their own turf.
"Our home games will truly be our home games," Principal Carla Gasway said.
Incoming freshman are excited to be able to play in a new stadium made possible by reallocated 2007 bond funds. Expected population growth in northeast El Paso didn't happen, allowing El Paso Independent School District to shift the money to this project and others.
"We're happy that they're building the new stadium, we're excited to play here and I hope it looks really good," one student entering Franklin in the fall as a freshman said.
It will be able to hold a lot more fans than the field previously used to host freshman and junior varsity football games.
"We're gonna have a stadium with 6,000 seats, new restrooms, and a concession stand," Operations and Facilities Director Adrian Stresow said. Which means people will no longer have to sit on the rock wall currently on the stadium's east side.
As for Franklin's rivals, the Coronado High School thunderbirds, they're happy they no longer have to share their stadium.
"It's also going to be a lot of money, so I don't know how it's gonna work out," a Franklin student said after school Thursday.
$1.6 million as a matter of fact, but students and supporters say it's worth it.
The stadium is expected to be completed by the beginning of September, meaning the cougars will have the extra motivation of literally defending their home turf this fall.
ABC-7 reached out to EPISD to find out when Jefferson will host their groundbreaking ceremony, since they are also expected to get a new football stadium soon. We were told designers are having issues figuring out how to accommodate both the baseball stadium and a football stadium at the site, so they are slightly behind schedule.