- Associated Press - Saturday, July 26, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Omaha North High School, which holds this year’s state football title, is thinking about getting a stadium of its own.

It’s the only high school in the Omaha Public Schools system that doesn’t have its own stadium for football, track and soccer, The Omaha World-Herald reported (https://bit.ly/1nJ3Knx ) Saturday.

For years, the North High marching band, football team and fans have had to make the 5-mile trek to play at neighboring Northwest High.

Now, North High leaders are looking to build a stadium with up to 6,000 seats, funded solely through private donations and fundraising, Principal Gene Haynes said. That’s the same funding model the school used to build an $8 million science, engineering and technology wing that opened in 2010.

The stadium’s initial design - created by North High 2014 graduates, including Jewel Rodgers, daughter of Nebraska football star Johnny Rodgers - is a modern structure of glass, metal and wood that could serve as a community space for sporting events, receptions and other occasions, Haynes said.

The principal said a home field would increase pride in North athletics, help eliminate game-day transportation and give parents and the community a central locale to cheer on the North Vikings.

The stadium could also be shared with North’s neighbors, the Butler-Gast YMCA and Skinner Magnet Center, Haynes said.

“We want this to be a cornerstone for this north Omaha community,” Haynes said.

Any construction is probably three to five years down the road and would cost between $8 million and $12 million, he said.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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