TISD limits public use of athletic facilities

TISD limits public use of athletic facilities

TYLER (KYTX) - Brenda Wright just started using Rose Rudman Trail for her evening walks.

For five years, she used the track at Robert E. Lee High School, which is right across the street.

"It was just a real comfortable walk because you knew you were walking on something soft and it's always good for your knees, legs and joints," said Brenda Wright.

One day, she ran into a problem. She couldn't get in to use the track, because the new gate around the school was locked.

"There was no one to talk to about it and we had no knowledge of what the situation was," said Wright.


Tyler school leaders made the decision this year to restrict access to its athletic facilities, such as it's tracks and tennis courts.

Security is one reason. Both Robert E. Lee and John Tyler High School have a fence around the campus to protect students and staff.

"With the installation of the new fence, it requires someone opening it and someone closing it, and of course our first priority is to have the track and tennis courts available for our students, so they can practice on it," said Dawn Parnell, TISD spokeswoman.

Both schools also have upgrades to their athletic facilities that total more than $2 million on each campus.

"That is tax dollars in work over there. Everybody in this town paid for it on one level or another," said Dave Timmons.

Dave Timmons believes the facilities should be available to the public at anytime.


He says many people, especially women, felt safer using the brightly lit track at night.

But, on the other hand, he can also see the school district's point of view.

"I'm out here everyday. I do see the track being abused. You got bicycles on it, you got people pushing strollers, and who knows what on it," said Timmons.

School leaders say they want to keep the facilities in the best condition for the people who have first priority, the students.

Tyler ISD Athletic Facilities Operating Hours:

Monday - Friday: 6am - 8am

Evenings: Until last coach leaves

Closed on Weekends



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