Mesquite ISD Installing Massive ‘Shade Pavilions’ To Protect Teams, Coaches from Heat

On 110-degree days like today, what's a high school football team to do? Mesquite ISD has a solution: It's installing Hellas "shade pavilions" at all five of its high schools to let quarterbacks, cheerleaders, marching bands, soccer teams, and more practice in breezy, shaded bliss.

Dallas-Fort Worth was expected to hit 110 degrees today. That’s hot—especially for student athletes running sprints and tackling runners on a high school practice field. But now the Mesquite Independent School District is coming to the rescue with a secret weapon: shade.

Mesquite ISD is partnering with Austin-based Hellas Construction on a “revolutionary shade solution” to keep athletes and coaches safe on days like this. The district is installing massive “shade pavilions” bigger than football fields at all five of its high schools.

At the district’s Poteet High School, one of the pavilions is already in place and getting serious use by the school’s football team. Head Coach Rodney McLain calls the pavilion “a game-changer.”

“Normally, you’re out there in the sun and miserable,” McLain said in a statement. “In past seasons, we’ve averaged losing about 20-25 practices because of the heat. Now, we won’t have to miss practice anymore. More importantly, we’re protecting our kids and staff from the dangers of extreme heat.”

According to Hellas, field temperatures have dropped by as much as 20 to 25 degrees thanks to the pavilions—and a “wind tunnel effect” caused by the structures can magnify much-needed breezes for everyone on the field.

Cheerleaders, band members, and other sports teams are cooling off too

Video Still: Hellas

Football players aren’t the only ones who’ll benefit from Mesquite ISD’s shade pavilions. Marching bands, cheerleaders, dance teams, soccer teams, and baseball and softball teams will also be able to get out of the sun for their long hours of hot-weather practice.

During school hours, the pavilions also provide a place to hold outdoor classes, pep rallies, fundraisers, or student organizational meetings, Hellas noted. “Each pavilion is equipped with lights to extend the hours of usability, includes net curtains that can be used to divide the space and contain balls, and has batting cages that can be raised and lowered as needed,” the company said.

Reed J. Seaton, CEO of Hellas, said that “by installing pavilions at all five district high schools, Mesquite ISD is demonstrating their commitment to providing students a safe and fun place to practice and play.”

All five of Mesquite ISD’s high schools are slated to get similar shade pavilions by the end of 2023, Hellas said.

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