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BOE continues to grapple with athletic field lighting issues

By SERINA MARSHALL
Staff Writer [email protected]

At Thursday’s meeting, the Washington County Board of Education continued to wrestle with the subject of new lighting for area high school athletic fields.

“Our methods to addressing the concern and the need of repair and replacement of electrical wiring for the football lights at the two football fields did go through the bid process for only replacement of the lighting for existing poles and light fixtures,” Director of Schools Jerry Boyd said at the June 30 BOE meeting. “The low bid was $316,000. In addition, because of our anticipated stadium upgrades, we explored options of purchasing new lights, and we have two options, one option is new lights on our existing poles, which would include rewiring to install the new light fixtures that would be LED.”

The quote through Sourcewell National for new lights on existing poles with all new wiring and electrical done for each school is: Daniel Boone $289,999 with a 10-year warranty on the lights and David Crockett $299,664. These would come from the fund balance according to Boyd.

“It meets all the highest level of standards for TSSAA, they make sure the lighting covers the field that meets all the specifications in their installation. And with it being LED lighting, the brightness is better than halogen,” Boyd explained. “That work is compared to the $316,000 for rewiring both fields, leaving all the existing halogen lights on the poles and they pull down old transformers and they run electrical service to each pole and everything staying the same.”

This would be new lighting for both high school fields and it is on existing poles, but there is still the second option Boyd said.

“They also have the option, which is $98,000 more each field, for four new poles,” he said. “If we were to install these retro-fits on our existing poles now and when we finish the master plan in upgrades for the additional $98,000 each

field, they would come back in, install the new poles and put our light fixtures on the new poles and then wire electrical to the new pole’s location for that amount. We would essentially be up charging to the full amount for new poles and new lights at that time.”

Additionally, Boyd said if the second option is put into place, the warranty at that time would be updated and upgraded from a 10-year warranty to a 25-year warranty.

“It will be just under $200,000 to do that new install with the poles and move our new LED light fixtures to those poles and establish electrical,” he said. “If we were right now buying a completely new system, new poles, new light fixtures, and have them installed, we would be just under $800,000. But because there is a chance, we would be moving poles with the new design, we certainly wouldn’t want to install new poles in our current location and then a few years down the road have to move them.”

Boyd said that the other piece is, with the $316,000 option, which is new wiring and halogen light assemblies, it may be able to be done in September, but that’s also the case with putting new lights on the poles, with a two-week install for both options.

If bids are accepted, the minimum amount would be $316,000 for lighting.

Board member Chad Fleenor made the motion to set aside funds, not to exceed $600,000, for new lights and new wiring for the stadiums at Crockett and Boone, asking reimbursement from the Washington County Commission and the amendment passed.