Toney Burger Activity Center could add facilities for softball, performing arts in the future

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Future options for Austin ISD’s Toney Burger Activity Center in South Austin could modernize the center’s stadium and gym, and add a softball field, and a joint performing arts and community room.

Possible future uses for the center are outlined in a draft of the district’s 2019 Facilities Master Plan, which details options AISD could look at to modernize and better use facilities for athletics, fine arts, and career and technical education across the district.

According to the master plan, the Burger Center renovation proposal would “address known issues including, but not limited to, press box, restroom, concession and parking accommodations, ADA accessibility and flexibility,” at the Burger Activity Center. Similarly, the center’s arena “should be re-built to a multi-purpose facility,” the master plan states.

Most recently renovated in 2006, the Burger Activity Center is used primarily for sub-varsity sports and overflow campus activities, making it oversized in its current capacity and underutilized, according to the master plan. Located at 3200 Jones Road, Sunset Valley, the center currently offers a 12,000-seat football stadium, a 5,000-seat indoor arena, a baseball filed with seating, and an annex football field.

According to the master plan, a future configuration for the center could include…

  • a renovated Burger Stadium, with a new scoreboard and upgrades to the field, track, restrooms and concessions;
  • an expanded Burger Arena, with a new performing arts and community space and a “flexible gymnasium” with a capacity of about 1,500;
  • a new softball field and a renovated baseball field, with a new concession and ticketing stand; and
  • the existing annex football field.

According to the master plan, a renovated stadium could better host district events, and availability could be filled through outside partnerships or events. The expanded indoor arena could better accommodate wrestling and various levels of volleyball and basketball as well as host arts performances. Adding a softball field would create a centralized area for the sport in the southern part of the district.

District staff presented the facilities master plan draft to trustees Aug. 12, and a final version of the plan will be presented for approval in October.

While the price of renovations, funding options and timelines for projects listed in the master plan have not been established, projects pursued by AISD would likely be supported through a future bond package, according to the district.

“We are beginning to have some discussions about when an appropriate next bond might be, but previously we had considered 2022 as a target date,” AISD Operations Officer Matias Segura said Aug. 12. “Certainly, with all the needs that we have, we’re going to work with [Superintendent Paul Cruz] and our staff to figure out what makes sense given the recommendations, but those conversations are ongoing, and we don’t know when precisely that will be.”

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Nicholas Cicale
Nick was born in Long Island, New York and grew up in South Florida. He graduated from Florida State University in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in writing and a minor in music. Nick was a journalist for three years at the St. James Plaindealer in Minnesota before moving to Austin to join Community Impact Newspaper in 2016.
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