The project to install lights at Conard High’s McKee Stadium Field and Hall High’s Chalmers Field is nearing completion.
At Hall High on Tuesday and Wednesday, four concrete bases for the 90-foot lights were poured, according to Bob Macca, co-president of the group Unite for Lights, which has spearheaded the project for nearly four years.
Macca said in a telephone interview Wednesday that he expected the posts will be installed soon, weather permitting, this Tuesday.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Macca, adding that he believed Conard was on a similar construction schedule.
The Town Planning & Zoning Commission in March approved the installation of the lights, with three conditions: there can be no more than 36 high school or youth regular-season games in the fall and no more than 16 regular season games played in the spring under the lights, although playoff games can be added as needed; practices under the lights must end by 7 p.m.; and there will be a "look-back" to reevaluate the situation in two years.
The cost of the project is about $500,000, with $250,000 coming from the state’s bond commission. The remainder of the money is being generated through fundraising by Unite the Lights. So far, the group has raised about $140,000, Macca said.
“There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done, and we will do that work,” Macca said. “It’s because of the good graces of the town that it fronted the money to do this… The work ends when we meet our goal.”
A fundraiser - billed as the town’s largest-ever tailgate party - is scheduled for Oct. 5 at Town Hall.
The remaining fundraising being done by Unite for Lights is for support, not construction, of the lights - such as landscaping and lighting the walkway to Chalmers Field, Macca said.
Construction - mostly the electrical work - was started in July and August before all of the money was raised so that the project could be completed before the end of the fall 2013 sports season, Macca said. That construction could only be done when the students were not in school. Otherwise, the project would have been delayed until the summer 2014, Macca said.For now, the goal is for every fall sports team that plays at McKee Stadium or Chalmers Field to have one game under the lights, said Macca, who anticipates the lights project being completed either in late October or early November.