RJR Football Stadium Q & A

Why is a stadium project needed?

R. J. Reynolds High School students deserve the same access to resources as other high school students in Forsyth County.

This new stadium would correct a long- standing inequity with regards to athletic facilities for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County

Schools. Following the creation of Title IX, and the recent increased emphasis on the health and well-being of young people,

student participation in after-school sports has increased. This is a good thing– something that needs to be supported with

facilities that can accommodate the growing numbers of students, both male and female, who wish to be student athletes.

What is Home Field Advantage?

Home Field Advantage (HFA) is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) formed in 2012 by a group who recognized the need for a stadiumathletic

facility on campus at R. J. Reynolds High School (RJR). This group is comprised of current students, RJR alumni, and

parents plus RJR neighbors and other enthusiastic supporters. All of these volunteers are committed to every phase of the

HFA project: research, planning, design, fundraising and construction.

Where does R. J. Reynolds High School hold sporting events now?

All RJR field-sport teams travel to every game–“home” and away. “Home” represents di-erent facilities to di-erent

sports with none of them ever enjoying a true home field advantage:

• RJR soccer and field hockey athletes play at the Bolton Soccer Complex (on Bolton Road near Silas Creek Parkway).

• RJR lacrosse and football athletes use Deaton-Thompson Stadium (on Old Salisbury Road near Peters Creek Parkway).

Bowman Gray Stadium was a long-time “home” stadium for RJR but it is now owned by Winston-Salem State University and

no longer available for use by WS/FCS. RJR has never experienced a home field advantage since opening its doors in 1923.

Which sports and activities will the stadium accommodate?

RJR has an approximate population of 1770 students; over 800 of these students currently participate in athletics. The sports

which will benefit directly from a new stadium are those with the highest levels of student participation: boys’ and girls’

soccer, boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, girls’ field hockey and football. Each of these sports has both a varsity and junior varsity team.

In addition, the stadium field will serve the marching band, Junior ROTC, drill team, cheer leading squads and dance teams.

In total, at least 18 teams/groups from RJR will utilize the new facility.

How will a new stadium benefit the students?

Research has shown that students involved in after school activities have more regular school attendance, perform better

academically, have a greater chance of receiving their diplomas and are less likely to be involved in juvenile crime and illicit

drug use. A stadium would address a long-standing inequity and would provide all students at RJR with the same

opportunities as other high school students in Forsyth County. A home stadium will serve as a source of pride for all RJR

students on and o- the field.

Who else benefits from a stadium?

The stadium is primarily being built to accommodate R. J. Reynolds High School's athletic teams and band. However, the

facility will also benefit Calvin H. Wiley Middle School (specifically the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams), the William G. White, Jr.

Family YMCA, and community youth sports programs. The facility could serve as a venue for school and community events,

graduation, and cultural events. Additionally, the businesses surrounding Hanes Park will benefit from additional exposure.

What is the scope of the project?

The project will include a turf field to accommodate football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey. There will be home and guest

seating alongside the field which will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additional facilities will include

boys’ and girls’ locker rooms, a training room, concession stand and storage. There will also be a covered breezeway adjacent

to designated handicap parking spaces.

How much will the stadium cost to build?

The fundraising goal is 4.5 million dollars.

Why are private funds being solicited for this project?

In one word–reality. Even though every other public high school stadium in the county has been built with public funds,

and even though Superintendent Dr. Beverly Emory has acknowledged the safety concerns for the students and athletes

as they travel for practices and games, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is currently unable to fund a stadium.

Accordingly, RJR and HFA firmly agree that city and county money should be earmarked for academic purposes. This

leaves the community with a need that can only be met through private funding.

Who will pay to maintain the facility?

Once the facility is completed, it will be managed and maintained by R. J. Reynolds High School and WS/FCS. All public

high school stadiums in Forsyth County are managed by WS/FCS.

Why are funds being raised for athletics when additional funds are needed now to build new schools and improve existing ones?

While academics is the core focus of every educational system, the positive link between athletics and academic

performance is undeniable. Research shows that the more adult mentors in young people’s lives, the more likely these

young people will have success in school and beyond. School-based athletics provide multiple opportunities for mentoring

as coaches can have tremendous influence over students’ classroom attendance, behavior, and academic performance.

Will the stadium be located in Hanes Park?

No. The proposed site is not part of Hanes Park. The facility would be built on land already owned by WS/FCS; it is adjacent

to Hanes Park. This site currently houses two modular units, a school bus parking lot, an outdated school gymnasium

(Wiley Gym) and an unmaintained hillside – all located between Calvin H. Wiley Middle School and the R. J. Reynolds High

School gymnasiums.

How will the stadium impact the surrounding neighborhoods?

It is the goal of R. J. Reynolds High School and Home Field Advantage to work with the neighboring communities to ensure

this project does not impact them negatively. Every e-ort will be made to design and build a facility that integrates with the

surrounding architecture and Hanes Park. Additionally, a portion of the funds raised will be used to beautify Northwest

Boulevard and the perimeter of the park and make it safer with added lighting.

How many seats will the stadium hold?

The stadium will hold 4,000 seats. This capacity is the minimum standard for hosting 4A football playo- games.

Where will people park?

Parking will be in the R. J. Reynolds High School campus parking lot, the recently vacated bus parking lot on Northwest

Boulevard, and Calvin H. Wiley Middle School and Brunson Elementary School campus parking lots. There will be parking on

Northwest Boulevard. Home Field Advantage has commissioned a parking and trac study to furnish recommendations about

minimizing the impact on the surrounding community for the six Friday nights each fall when hosting football games. Bryson

Gym, which holds over 2,300 seats, has never had a parking issue for the 40 home games it hosts each basketball season.

Will there be lights to play night games?

The stadium will feature lights for evening events, however the large majority of activities will be scheduled during the day.

The proposed lights will be energy-ecient with reduced glare to minimize the impact on neighboring homes.

How will the stadium a-ect the environment?

The stadium field will be a permeable turf surface, helping to reduce uncontrolled storm water runo-. The project plans

include landscaping around the facility to make a pleasing sightline from the park and from Northwest Boulevard.

What is the construction timeline and when will the stadium be completed?

The initial steps are fundraising and design of the facility. The images throughout this website are renderings only. All of the

funds must be raised before construction can begin. Completion is projected at 12-15 months from the start of construction.

What will the role of the school district be in this project?

The Winston-Salem Forsyth County School Board has pledged their full support toward the e-orts of the R. J. Reynolds High

School Athletic Booster Club and Home Field Advantage to build a new facility. They have endorsed the current plans and

encourage donations for the project. Additionally, WS/FCS will relocate the bus lot on Northwest Boulevard and rebuild

Wiley Gym.