Despite overwhelming public outcry, as well as recommendations from the superintendent and a citizen oversight committee, the SAISD school board voted 4-2 on Monday night to alter the Alamo Stadium renovation plan under the 2011 bond.
The change will enlarge the current playing field to FIFA regulations along with an 8-lane track which will require the removal of some lower seats.
Before the vote, 20 of 22 citizens spoke out against any plan that included a FIFA-size field. That group included state representative Mike Villarreal.
"They did an awful job by sneaking in what they had intended to do from the very beginning," said Dr. Gloria Rodriguez, one of the people to speak out against the change to the board.
"Why do citizens come to meetings, express their opinions and then their leaders do the exact opposite?," asked Maria Berriozabal, a former councilwoman. "No wonder people are so disappointed in government."
Patti Radle and Carlos Villarreal were the only two members to vote against the modified plan, with James Howard not voting.
Radle had motioned to vote on the original plan which was then amended by Ruben Cuero to include the FIFA field. The amendment passed by the same 4-2 vote.
"On any tough issue, there's the opportunity for there to be a backlash," said board president-elect Ed Garza, who many citizens accused of trying to shove pro soccer down their throats. "We have to educate folks to see the benefits. The big issue was not removing the track and this board accomplished that," Garza said.
A district spokesperson did not have a timeline on when construction would begin saying that architects still needed to work on and finalize a plan.