Memorial Stadium will soon get new artificial turf.

The Victoria ISD school board unanimously agreed to accept a $600,000 donation from Frost Bank to replace the current turf during its monthly board meeting Thursday evening.

With the donation, the field will carry Frost Bank’s name for 12 years. When referring to the field, it will now be called Frost Bank Field at Memorial Stadium.

Board members were eager to approve the item, and board member Kevin VanHook motioned to approve.

“We’re ready to move,” he said. “Frost Bank, thank you so much.”

After the unanimous vote, the board members stood and applauded the four Frost Bank officials who attended the meeting.

A Frost Bank logo must be placed and maintained at the field, and space will be provided for additional Frost Bank advertising within Memorial Stadium.

It is required that all regularly scheduled Victoria East High School and Victoria West High School home games be played at the field.

The turf will be replaced after the soccer season and be completed before graduation in May, said Greg Bonewald, deputy superintendent of operations.

The current turf was replaced 11 years ago. In November 2017, voters denied a $141.2 million school board bond proposal that would have built a new complex. The complex would have included a new football stadium.

Board member Mike Mercer seconded the motion. He said the new turf is a wonderful thing that improves the facility.

“This was critically needed,” he explained.

Victoria ISD officials will begin looking for bids to install the new turf which will go before the board in the next few months.

In other business, the board approved to adopt a policy that allows the board to review applications for tax code 313, or the Texas Economic Development Act. The act allows tax limitations through school boards, if approved by the school board and Texas Comptroller.

A solar field project called Sunshine Energy under Caprock Renewables based out of Austin plans to apply for a tax abatement.

Jason Tillman, vice president of project development at Caprock, said the company is meeting with other Victoria entities for similar tax breaks.

He said Victoria is a prime location to harness solar energy, and he hopes to work with the school board to get the Sunshine Energy project up and running.

The board had an item to review an application from Sunshine Energy for the possible tax breaks, but after more than an hourlong executive session, the company did not have an application to present.

The board voted to table the action item regarding Sunshine Energy for a later date.

Samantha Douty is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from UT-Arlington with a bachelor's in journalism.

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