The Sum It Up question from Sunday was: Does Reynolds High School need a new stadium?

Reynolds High School has a stadium. What Winston-Salem does not need is a football stadium in Hanes Park.

ELEN KNOTT

Reynolds needs a new stadium because it will give the students something to call their own and a place for family and friends to enjoy a true home game.

STEPHEN GREENE

The location in a stable, developed neighborhood and bordering a central urban park is of concern.

MARY B. HOWARD

Reynolds needs its own stadium. I love Hanes Park and I think the stadium will only make it better.

JOELL SCANLON

No. Need is not a valid argument for approval of the proposed stadium.

JAN KREBS

No, they don’t need a new stadium and especially at the cost of Hanes Park.

ERI SCHEIPERS

This is really about putting it at Hanes Park.

LAWRENCE KNIGHT

No. Well, maybe yes, but not in the middle of Hanes Park. It would be a traffic and ecological nightmare.

NANCY STREBLOW

I feel strongly that Reynolds should have a stadium of its own. This can be for graduation, also. Track and field events can be held there as well as lacrosse and field hockey and soccer.

CHUCK HARRIS

Yes. I am in favor of the new stadium proposal.

TANYA GUNTER

A large, modern stadium built in Hanes Park would be unfair to the area neighborhoods and to those who use the park. It would not be a good use of the park property.

CLARK HARPER

It’s not just a question of the stadium, it’s a question of damage to Hanes Park. It is too close.

AMANDA RATHER

Yes. Marching bands should be able to march to their stadium, not road trip.

FRANK JOHNSON

I don’t believe the question addresses the real controversy, which is the location.

LANGDON OPPERMANN

As a former Reynolds student-athlete and in the most recent graduating class, yes, R.J. Reynolds needs a stadium.

ANDY TEASDALL

Yes! Reynolds deserves a stadium.

MANDY WOLFERT

Yes! The stadium would be a wonderful addition to our West End neighborhood and would provide an adequate facility for the children to enjoy for years to come.

JOHN HOLZWARTH

Whether Reynolds High School needs a new stadium is debatable. What is not debatable is that the location currently under consideration (Hanes Park) is a terrible choice for numerous reasons.

ANN URBAN

Yes, Reynolds High School needs a stadium. Thank you for letting us voice this opinion.

JANET WHITLEY

Reynolds may want a new stadium, but it does not need one that creates significant problems for Hanes Park and surrounding neighborhoods.

LAURA PHILLIPS

No, put the money back into education. Students will get more out of it that way.

WILLIAM SAMS

Reynolds High School does not need a new facility. Hanes Park is a gem that benefits all the people of Winston-Salem, year round, not a small fraction of people for six nights a year.

HILLARY PIERCE

Yes.

JACK WHITE

Given the struggles our public schools face today, it is hard to imagine why anyone would devote scare resources to a stadium for Reynolds High School. Don’t we have enough real problems?

MARK DULANEY GLEN

We need a new stadium ASAP.

MARCUS D. WATKINS

A more relevant question: Should a 4,500-seat stadium be built adjoining Hanes Park? No! That’s what this controversy is about. Why obscure the real issue?

DAVID AND C.C. WINSLOW

Yes, but why not put the stadium on land the city owns due east of the student parking lot that adjoins Reynolda Road just north of the railroad tracks?

FRANK SCISM

Yes, Reynolds High School needs a campus stadium and practice field.

RENCE CALLAHAN

Reynolds might need a stadium, but not in Hanes Park. It is a very ill-advised, high-consequence location.

JENNIFER SNOWHITE

No! If the booster club can raise that kind of money, then it should be put toward education — at Reynolds or, even better, at more needy schools. Sharing a stadium is a great use of resources.

KELLEY O’DONNELL

We need the R.J. Reynolds stadium! It would boost sales for the small businesses, boost community relations and provide a place for graduation. It would be a great addition.

BAILEY HOOTEN

Reynolds students have to travel to seven locations to play and practice as their home field. Students deserve a place to call home for the next generation and generations to come.

BRAD FISHER

ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, R.J. REYNOLDS HIGH SCHOOL

We have plenty of evidence of a shortage of resources in our school system; for example, the layoffs of faculty and staff, children crowding into classrooms, and teachers having to buy classroom supplies. Should we be spending money on a stadium?

EVE RAPP

The quality of education is measured by academic performance. Until the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system’s academic performance is at or near the top in the state, we should not be spending millions on accessories such as a stadium. Good nutrition before jewelry.

STEVE RAPP

I think Reynolds High School deserves to have athletic facilities comparable to the other Forsyth County high schools. My three children graduated from R.J. Reynolds, and their experience would have been enhanced with this proposed facility.

C. LAURENCE ROBBS

As a parent of a child who will be entering Reynolds in the fall of 2015, I strongly feel it is time for this high school to have its own stadium near the campus that many students and families will be able to walk to.

LEIGH ANN McDONALD WOODRUFF

No stadium for R.J. Reynolds. Such a perfect park. Such a perfect school. Nice and ageless. Classy. A park people use. Keep the tradition. Winston-Salem is a traditional town — progressive when needed, but traditional. No stadium. People use this park.

BETSY TRENT

Why should Reynolds High School not have what every other county high school has — a stadium — especially when built on existing land owned by the school, with money raised privately? This is a no-brainer!

SHANNON RAINEY

Really simple, a stadium rather than a park that has been the central focus point of downtown Winston-Salem for at least half a century: absolutely not! We have one park and more than enough stadiums.

BRANDI BICKFORD

I am not in favor of the proposed stadium at Hanes Park because of the existing lack of parking in the West End area. The city will not let a business open without adequate parking; how can it allow a stadium requiring a thousand parking spaces without also building a parking deck?

GEORGE STREBLOW

Yes! The “Save Hanes Park” point is invalid. Hanes Park itself will not be touched, and the stadium will be built on Reynolds’ property. It’s unfair that every other high school has a stadium of their own and Reynolds students have to drive out to a “home” field that is far from home.

GRACE CARTER

Yes. R.J. Reynolds High School needs a “home” stadium. Would anybody ask Mount Tabor High School to play soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and football at West Forsyth High School?

For the children, the current athletic facilities situation at the high school is stuck in the 1920s.

KIRK FRY

Reynolds High School may need a new football stadium, but not in Hanes Park. Why tear down centuries-old trees for a stadium, when there are plenty of run-down old factory buildings that can be destroyed just a couple blocks down the road?

ANNA MILLER

No. I like what an earlier letter-writer suggested about sprucing up the current stadium and using other raised funds for academics. Also, the West End and other residents who use Hanes Park don’t need more traffic and a looming, out-of-proportion structure.

GENIE CARR

We would like R.J. Reynolds High School to have its own football stadium. This historic school should not be punished because it is in a landlocked area with no room to develop. The land proposed for the stadium site is school land and separate from Hanes Park.

HARRY COOK

Yes. “For 89 years Reynolds High School has been without a stadium to call home.” Reynolds is the only high school in its conference that does not have a stadium on its campus. The proposed stadium will be located on its campus using existing school-system property and be funded by private donations. It is needed and will be a wonderful addition to the community.

JOAN HEALY

No, Reynolds High School does not need a new stadium, it needs its own stadium, which it currently does not have. Having to take buses to home games while using (and paying to maintain) game and practice fields at The Children’s Home and middle schools that are better suited for goat grazing than athletics is ridiculous!

BRIAN MYERS

This is not a fair question. Do I need a million dollars? A more fitting question is should a public green space and at least two neighborhood’s property values be wiped out for eight home games a year? High school students have a limited time to enjoy sports, but residents and businesses around Hanes Park will live with the consequences forever.

BETH BOSTIC

If only private money is to be spent on the proposed football stadium, I don’t care one way or the other. However, I oppose spending even one dime of public money on such a stadium until slashed academic education budgets are restored and teachers no longer feel the need to buy classroom supplies out of their own pockets.

JOHN B. STEWART SR.

No, we do not need a stadium. We need to use resources to educate all students before providing fancy stadiums for a few. Green space to run, play and appreciate nature in is part of a good education for all children and provides plenty of opportunity for physical activity and recreation.

KELLEY WAITE

I play field hockey and lacrosse for R.J. Reynolds and I think we absolutely need a new home field. I practice/play at four locations: The Children’s Home, Paisley High School, Bolton Elementary School and Deaton-Thompson Stadium. For a busy teenager, it is such a pain to drive everywhere. A new field would give Reynolds players and students a sense of pride and, most importantly, it would give us a home.

SARAH PHILLIPS ORR

A few people want a “home field advantage” for Reynolds athletics. A lot of people need a beautiful, spacious urban park to enjoy with their friends and families. This city can’t have both, not on the P.H. Hanes grant. Improve Deaton-Thompson Stadium, root for the Demons, but by all means save Hanes Park.

BILL GIBSON

It’s not a question of need but of what is deserved. Every other high school in Forsyth County enjoys such a facility close to their campuses, except Reynolds and Parkland. Those stadiums were all constructed with public funds. Allowing the Reynolds community to build its own venue would provide for both schools, thus allowing everyone in the county to finally have their own place to play. My answer is “yes.”

WENDY BOLING

Thousands of people, including many R.J. Reynolds parents and alumni, have signed a petition to oppose the building of this unnecessary stadium adjacent to the Hanes Park land that citizens utilize for exercise and relaxation. Destroying the character of a beloved park and surrounding historic neighborhoods is a lose-lose proposition and an “advantage” for no one. Expecting taxpayers to cover long-term operating and additional expenses for such a stadium would add insult to injury.

KATHLEEN M. RAMICH

The question is really less about need and more about does it make sense. It would render a beautiful park unusable for many current activities and be a financial and practical burden on the city/county at a time when we need to conserve our resources. It would also alter the character of the well-established neighborhoods surrounding Hanes Park. Find a new location with adequate existing parking if you feel the need to build it and can operate it with private funds.

J.E. WOLTZ

Yes! Reynolds High School deserves a stadium! It is the only school in this county that does not have a home field advantage. The only sports facility that Reynolds can call home is its gymnasium. I do not understand why the oldest high school in this county is being treated as if its students are outcasts!

Yes, yes, yes, Reynolds High needs a stadium.

MELISSA FISCH

Yes. I see nothing in the plans that damages the park or surrounding neighborhoods in any way. The real issue for those folks that live nearby and are the most vocal seems to be a fear of people parking in front of or near their homes. I think we can tolerate a little inconvenience for six home games a year in exchange for a stadium that the kids at Reynolds can be proud of on their own campus.

BRENT WHITE

Having gone to East Forsyth High School, where the stadium is next to the gymnasium, I understand the desire for a stadium nearby. But destroying the park will take a big chunk of the heart of our city.

There are industrial sites nearby; why can’t we see clear to improve those areas with a wonderful stadium (like the baseball stadium, perhaps)? Yes, it might take more resolve and more money, but there’s no real savings in putting it in Hanes Park if we consider the intangibles.

ROGER N. KIRKMAN

What if we changed the question from “Does Reynolds need a new stadium?” to “Does Reynolds need its own stadium, near its own campus, like most if not all other high schools in the county?” Yes! As a nearby resident, I would love to be able to walk or bike over and watch home soccer or lacrosse or football games with my family. It would be a great addition to the Hanes Park area.

KATHY McLEAN

Building a stadium in Hanes Park would diminish its usefulness to the wider community. Long has this park been a source of healthy activities, peaceful relaxation and urban beauty. The trees of Hanes Park have cleaned our air. The benches and paths have fostered friendships as well as meditation and inspiration.

All of these benefits have been available to us all, as was the purpose of the Hanes’ gift to the city. How shameful if, so soon after the death of Phil Hanes, this park should be desecrated by a few short-sighted and selfish people.

KATHERINE McGINNIS

Yes! The students of the Reynolds community deserve to play at home without having to get in a car or on a bus. This is a way to demonstrate a community coming together to build something for our future leaders. It’s not about how many ways you can think to spend $6 million. It is about private fund-raising to support a project we believe will better the educational experience at our neighborhood school. Those who have ideas on how to spend other people’s money should start their own fund-raising efforts for their own cause.

RAY WORKMAN

Disregarding any impact to Hanes Park and the neighborhoods, one has to question the validity of spending so much money on a stadium at a time when the education system is under such extreme stress. It is tragic what is happening to school funding. It should be the quality of the teachers and academics that makes Reynolds High School great, not a new football stadium. Invest in the core educational mission and what ultimately matters to the entire student body and their future — and the future of Winston-Salem.

JOHN C. LARSON

Yes, Reynolds High School needs a stadium! Parkland also deserves a stadium, and when Reynolds can finally “bring it home,” Parkland will also have its own home-field advantage. Hanes Park, despite what people have been led to believe, will be fine. There is plenty of “green space” that already belongs to the city. A beautiful stadium designed by a local well-known and respected architect will enhance the surrounding area.

The present and future students of Reynolds High School deserve a stadium. This is long overdue!

LINDA R. HILL

Reynolds absolutely needs a new stadium. Here’s why:

It will address a long-standing inequity in the school system. The Reynolds football, field hockey, lacrosse and soccer teams have no home as it stands now.

School athletics are the most important and effective dropout prevention program we have.

Our field hockey team frequently can’t play a full varsity or J.V. game later in the season because the field at The Children’s Home has no lights.

The stadium is not being built in Hanes Park and can be built in an attractive way that enhances the park and provides enough parking for games.

Hanes Park was originally donated to the city with the understanding that it was to be used for athletic fields for Reynolds.

JOSHUA BRAGG

TEACHER, R.J. REYNOLDS HIGH SCHOOL

Does Reynolds High School need a new stadium? Absolutely! Reynolds is the oldest high school in the city and is an important part of our community. There is no reason why the school and its students should be denied any longer the same opportunity every other high school is given. A multi-sport facility on campus will eliminate the need for the school’s teams to travel far off campus for practices and games, will make it possible for more students to participate in athletics, and will build morale and unity among a very diverse student body.

TROY TYNER

I am writing in response as to why R.J. Reynolds High School needs a new football stadium.

The one it has been sharing needs replacing or repairing anyway.

It has been sharing the same stadium for quite a number of years, which hinders school pride.

Most of the school athletics are near Hanes Park, and this major sport for the school is across town.

As an R.J. Reynolds alumnus, I understand the value of Hanes Park, the school’s relation to it, and why the stadium means so much to so many.

Reynolds High School is one of the premier schools in this town, and I believe that the loyalty of its alumni will support the venture.

The building of the project and the stadium’s use should stir excitement and bring a boost to the local economy.

For the supporters of Hanes Park, this should only affect a small portion of the park, and change is inevitable.

TIM CHILDRESS

I understand and support the need of Reynolds to have a “home” field stadium. I have big problem with where some of the supporters want to put it.

Why is the land along Reynolda Road (owned by the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County board of education and occupied by Reynolds) not being considered as the primary location site?

Do not tell me it is because it is in a flood plain. Design and architectural advances allow for construction of facilities on such land, accounting for the extremely rare occurrence of weather and natural disasters. Although this space is also wonderful green space, it is clearly not used, is underappreciated and poorly maintained (as in landscaping and access). There is no way the Northwest Boulevard site would be able to handle the traffic and crowds that would be attendant with such an arena. This Reynolda Road site possibly could be designed to fill the need and allow for all problems of the other site to be addressed. Just saying…

RANDALL E. SPRINKLE

I was born in Winston-Salem 62 years ago and have always loved the wonderful facilities at Hanes Park. When we were first married, we lived up the hill on Summit Street.

Whether or not Reynolds High School needs a new stadium is not the question to address. The first thing to state is that any stadium should not be placed within Hanes Park. The park is already crowded with many activities; a little peace and quiet needs to be retained.

Please do not let a stadium blight our beautiful Hanes Park.

PATSY BROWN

No new stadium is needed; if built, it should not be adjoining Hanes Park.

I’m sure there are longstanding reasons other than money that a stadium was not built here sometime in the last 88 years. I would hope that folks who came into office supporting neighborhood schools would listen to neighborhood concerns. As a two-time R.J. Reynolds parent, I’d hate to see a place that values being “amidst the pines” make Hanes Park be “against the concrete” with this stadium.

ERIC ELLIOTT

No. Reynolds High School has a football stadium, one that taxpayers are already paying to maintain. At a time when governments are struggling to contain budgets and conserve resources, taking on the maintenance of a new stadium — even one constructed partly with private funds — is irresponsible. Now is not the time for a vanity project whose proponents seem to be willfully ignoring obvious issues with parking and potential issues with storm water due to the nature of the proposed site. And those of us who appreciate Hanes Park the way it is surely do not want to see it turned into a construction staging area with no guarantee that the park and creek will remain unchanged.

STACEY BAILEY PHARR

Reynolds High School does not need a new stadium in Hanes Park! A new stadium in another location might be nice (how about a brown-field redevelopment site?), but squashing a big stadium in an already congested area while sacrificing scarce green space is a bad idea. My two children have been involved in the terrific athletic program at Reynolds, and I attended football games at Bowman Gray stadium in the 1970s. We’ve had great team spirit for generations, happily sharing facilities for track/football/swimming/tennis/baseball/soccer/lacrosse/field hockey! Go, Demons!

SUZANNA WATKINS

If only I could summon $5 million-$7 million to address the pressing needs of our neighborhood schools: I would invest in rebuilding Brunson Elementary, support Wiley Middle’s state-mandated interventions to improve student achievement, pay teachers the salaries they deserve — but lump much-needed funds into an grandiose, over-sized stadium just to provide a more convenient location at the expense of Wiley and our downtown green space? No.

ELIZABETH COYNE

Reynolds High needs a home football stadium.

It is rarely debated that interscholastic sports activities promote citizenship and sportsmanship. They instill a sense of pride in community, teach lifelong lessons of teamwork and self-discipline and facilitate the physical and emotional development of our community’s youth. Construction of a home R.J. Reynolds High School stadium, on exiting school property, will only enhance the positive effect school-based sports has on the student body.

THEODORA SPARROW

Whether Reynolds High School deserves a new stadium is a school-board issue. Even if it tops the priority list, it should not be built in Hanes Park because:

It sacrifices a flexible resource serving many for a limited resource for a relative few.

It incorrectly presumes that Reynolds is a neighborhood school, drawing mostly from its nearby students.

It is the kind of change that is nearly impossible to undo when the mistake is recognized. Please think outside that box!

ELLEN S. YARBOROUGH

R.J. Reynolds High School desperately needs its own stadium on campus. As a mother of two Reynolds graduates and a current student, I have had to drive carpool to countless practices and games at the Deaton-Thompson Stadium. There were many times that I had to take other athletes who didn’t have access to a car, or whose parents worked and could not get them to the field. Having to provide transportation to home games is something that other schools do not have to address. This is a significant cost and inconvenience to the students, parents and coaches at our school. Having a stadium on campus would create a sports venue that would be accessible to all the Reynolds students, even those who lack transportation during the school day.

MELISSA WORKMAN

It seems a shame to allow a stadium to intrude on the open space of Hanes Park and to irreparably damage the character of the park and the surrounding communities. Once open space is gone, you never get it back.

The parking and traffic issues associated with the proposed stadium should be carefully considered, as already there is not enough parking for those using the park and the YMCA. The surrounding neighborhoods will bear the brunt of the additional parking and traffic, contributing to a decline in desirability of these areas (i.e. property values).

And let’s not forget that private funds will not cover the complete and ongoing costs associated with this stadium. Tax dollars will eventually be involved.

JESSICA SKIPPER

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