A Little Rock School District football field temporarily closes after vandalism, now working to enhance security

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – On Thursday, The Little Rock School District temporarily closed one of its fields to fix what officials are calling “significant damage” after it was vandalized on Sunday night. 

LRSD officials said Scott Field located at Forest Heights STEM Academy will be closed until further notice as they work to repair damage to the field’s turf. 

Ron Self is the Director of Safety and Security for the district, he said they’re looking to change some safety measures so something like this never happens again. He adds that on Sunday evening around 10:30 pm a car gained access to the field and drove on the football field leaving doughnut marks. 

According to the Little Rock Police Department’s report, the incident is classified as criminal mischief and theft of property. 

Furthermore, the report says officers saw the field had doughnut marks all over the football field. The fence leading to the field was missing a chain and a lock.

Officers also saw explicit pictures drawn with ketchup, mustard, and relish on the track and bathroom walls and floors. Surveillance video shows the suspects arriving and leaving the following morning around 3am. 

Self said Scott Field has had minor damages in the past but nothing to this extent. 

“The vehicle then came back 4 additional times leaving around 3 A.M.” Scott goes on to say they also stole from the concession stand. 

In all, Self said the samples could cost in the thousands, but it depends on if the turf is salvageable or not. 

“On the high side, you’re looking at close to $500,0000 to 600,000 dollar,” Self said.

Self says it’s very frustrating that people damaged the field, because it’s a highly used field and a lot of people from the community come out to exercise or have fun events on the field. 

Self says Hall High School uses the field for their football games and Central High School was scheduled to play there, as construction is happening on its but that will all possibly have to be rescheduled. 

Kevin Stewart said he has been taking his kids, who are both on track, to the field for at least 3 years and hopes it reopens soon. He also says when it does reopen, he hopes it remains open to the public. 

“I just hope we can find something to do while this is getting fixed and eventually, we can come back to this,” Stewart said.

For Chancey Skarda, she also hopes the field remains open to the public because she feels it’s a peaceful running environment. 

“It’s normally pretty quiet and safe, that’s another reason why I choose to come out here,” Skarda said.

Both hope the people responsible will be held accountable and nothing like this happens again. 

“We will also work hard to find who did this and prosecute them to the fullest extent it’s just unacceptable,” Self said.

He also said they want to make sure the turf is smooth for football players and anyone who uses the field so no one trips and injures themselves. Depending on the condition of the turf, Self says it could take either one month or six to fix. 

District officials also said all LRSD athletic facilities will be closed from June 24 to July 9 for the dead period as required by the Arkansas Activities Association.