Members of the Committee examined the need for new lights on the football field at its Tuesday night meeting. The current lights were installed in 1991 and often fail to meet the needs of groups that use the field, proponents of the project said.
"Clearly, we are in desperate need, I would say, of new lights. Last year, we just limped along," L-S Athletic Director Nancy O'Neil told the Committee.
She described two cases last year when banks of lights went out during two home football games. She said once lights go out, it takes some time to get them back up again, which can inconvenience players and audience members.
"New lights will increase use of the field for the town, and increase general rental use," said O'Neill, who added better lighting on the field could increase interest from private groups that would pay rental fees to use a lighted field for their events.
"Right now, it's the only legitimate football field in town," she said, mentioning that other sports, such as soccer or rugby, are not currently played there so the school can save on lights. She said new lights with improved technology would have lower annual operating costs.
Principal/Superintendent Scott Carpenter clarified that school operating funds would not be used to install lights. Funding for the estimated $178,351 project would come from user groups.
"I think we need to have a community-wide discussion about fields," said Carpenter.
School Committee members agreed that since lights would stay in place for up to 30 years, it is worth investing in the proper technology. The issue will be addressed again at a future meeting.
The Committee also heard an update on a seminar regarding language-based learning disabilities that was attended by 68 teachers from Lincoln-Sudbury and three teachers from including Rebecca Reitz, coordinator of special education.
"The feedback I've gotten has been very positive," Reitz said, mentioning a high interest level among participants in accommodating the needs of students with language-base learning disabilities.
"This is a group of students we know Lincoln-Sudbury can be very successful with," said Carpenter.
Tuesday night's meeting was the first since the 2012-2013 school year began. A recent evening meeting for parents of incoming freshmen was a success, according to Carpenter, who said it gave parents who are new to L-S a chance to get to know school officials and get their questions answered.
"Often, I think parents are more nervous than the students," said one board members about the Class of 2016.