Details of a plan to finance a major upgrade of the lighting on the high school's football field were heard at a Tuesday night meeting of the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School Committee. The current lights were installed in 1991 and are ready for replacement, proponents of the project said.
Steve Hall, president of L-S Youth Lacrosse, said user groups have already begun planning to contribute to the project. Those groups include Boys Lacrosse, Pop Warner Football, Youth Soccer, Girls Lacrosse, the Lincoln-Sudbury Booster Club and others.
"There is a field crunch in town," Hall said.
User groups would benefit by not having to pay to rent portable lighting for their games, costs which can run up to $10,000 per year, he said.
Hall estimated the cost of the lighting upgrade at $216,860, which would include $126,860 for the lights and $90,000 for a one-time installation fee to be paid to Musco Sports Lighting, the company that would be hired for the project. The $216,860 represents an increase over a previous estimate of $178,351 that was discussed at a School Committee meeting in September.
The lights would come with a 25-year warranty from Musco, according to Steve Hall, who also said that newer lights would consume considerably less energy that the older-style lights that were installed more than 20 years ago.
"To me, it's a no-brainer," Hall said, stressing the energy savings of the project.
Superintendent Scott Carpenter commented on neighbors' expressed desire not to have the area "lit up" by saying new lights would create 50 percent less spillage, with more of the lights directed at the field and less on the surrounding area.
Proponents of the project said banks of lights went out twice during home football games last year. Once the lights go out, it can take some time to get them back up again, they said, often resulting in inconvenience to football players and to audience members who are there to enjoy the game.
"If we are going to do it, we might as well do it right," Hall said. "This time of year is a good time to do it."
Hall said the project would take about three months to complete, and the goal is to have the new lighting up and running in time for the spring sports season.
The School Committee voted unanimously to endorse the financing plan for the lighting project. The meeting included a discussion about the legal distinction between accepting donations and endorsing a plan that involves private donations.