The Woodlands High School played its last home game against Conroe High School in Conroe's backyard Friday night.

Meanwhile, players anxiously await the opening of the Woodforest Bank Stadium.
Things could very well be different for the two rivals next year when TWHS has a true home-team advantage in a new state-of-the-art stadium, expected to open in August 2008. The stadium is part of the future Conroe ISD Sports Complex in Shenandoah that is nearing its halfway mark in construction as the 2007 football season rushes past its halfway mark. The future stadium will be called home by teams from The Woodlands, The Woodlands College Park and Oak Ridge high schools. ""They'll definitely feel like it is their home stadium,"" TWHS head coach Mark Schmid said. ""Our kids are real excited about the stadium opening up and having it called their home stadium. ""The junior class this year will get to experience and realize that next year."" However, neither team expects the new home turf to create a boost in performance for players on either side. ""We all play in different stadiums all the time,"" CHS head coach Roger Holtkamp said.

""It'll just be like another road game. A football field is a football field."" Moorhead Stadium, located behind CHS, is currently the home stadium for all five Conroe Independent School District high schools. ""I grew up playing at the stadium in Conroe and that's the only place I've called home,"" Schmid said. ""That's the only place our kids have played at and called home."" Travel has always been an issue for south county schools heading north to Conroe to play, especially with construction along Interstate 45.

""For all the south county schools ... it's going to be good because they won't have to travel as far and that's a safety issue,"" Holtkamp said.
The 60-acre sports complex will feature the 10,000-seat stadium and a 1,000-seat natatorium. The stadium will house football, soccer, lacrosse and band competitions.

The complex was part of the $279.9 million in voter-approved bonds from 2004. Estimated at the time of the election to cost $34.301 million, the complex is now projected to total nearly $41.750 million, CISD Chief Financial Officer Dan Cox said during the recent CISD board meeting. The increase is due to inflation and a one-year delay on the project caused by wetlands restrictions.During the meeting the board approved an additional $512,000 for work that should have been in the original proposal but was omitted, Cox said. The additional funding will provide exterior painting to concrete surfaces with an elastomeric coating comparable to that at Moorhead Stadium.

The referendum included $4.9 million in additional funds for ""inflation and contingency,"" CISD Communication Director Kathy Clark stated in an e-mail sent last week. Additional amounts over and above the ""inflation and contingency"" funds are being funded from interest income earned on the 2004 bond funds that have been invested since the referendum.

City officials in Shenandoah also are making changes to accommodate the future complex. Roadway improvements are under way to handle the increased traffic expected from the complex, according to a Shenandoah press release.

David Memorial Drive is being extended to connect with Ed English Lane and Shenandoah Park Drive, both of which will be extended to meet the new section of David Memorial Drive, said Shenandoah's Kathie Reyer.

Future plans call for the widening of two-lane David Memorial Drive and four-lane Tamina Road between I-45 and David Memorial Drive.
The total contract is worth $1.663 million, Reyer said. Shenandoah will cover $968,544, while CISD will cover $664,596.

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