House Park Stadium re-opens after Memorial Day flood damage

The Shoal Creek water rose to 21 feet during the Memorial Day flood.

On Lamar, familiar businesses like Whole Earth Provision Co. were hit hard.

"Probably about 4 feet in the entire store.  So it's over 10,000 square feet of 4 feet of water, it was devastating," said Whole Earth's Holland Jones.

And House Park Stadium, an Austin staple since 1939, was in no shape for football.

 
"It was about to the second level of bleachers inside the stadium.  It completely tore up all of the carpet, all of the turf that we had down," said AISD Athletic Director Leal Anderson.
 
But a little time and a lot of hard work is healing the entire area.  On Thursday night, Anderson helped Superintendent Paul Cruz cut the ribbon in celebration of the grand re-opening of the stadium -- complete with new turf.  A project he's glad was ready in time for varsity football.
 
"It's usually a year in advance in terms of planning to get ready for a project of this magnitude.  This was done very quickly.  Our school board was able to approve and we got the contractors lined up.  And we were able to get the work done in a matter of just a few months which is really unprecedented," Anderson said.
 
Speaking of new turf, Whole Earth's Holland Jones says they just put in a new floor and they're hoping this location will be back open by mid-October.
 
"We really pulled together, our staff's been fantastic, we kept everybody on.  The community has been really great," Jones said.
 
Jones is an Austin High grad so he attended many-a-football game at House Park.
 
"House Park opening is a real sign of the rejuvenation.  It's been there a long time and it's back better than ever and we're real excited to have it back and we're excited to join it come mid-October," Jones said.
 
For 22 years, Wildflower Organics has been a few doors down from Whole Earth -- getting flooded every now and then.
 
But this time, they decided to move up the street to 6th and Lamar. 
 
"Chico's had left this space and Whole Foods was gracious enough to let us move up the hill so once we found out we were moving up here we got really excited," said Wildflower's Carly Young.
 
So they're still in the neighborhood...but flooding shouldn't be a problem anymore.
 
"We love our little community down here on Lamar so we're glad to stay in the same area but happy to be up the hill and away from the water," Young said.
 
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