San Marin awaits approval to turn on field lights

(Liz King)

San Marin High School will be a brighter place once the construction of the stadium lights is completed. Construction of San Marin’s new field lights officially began on September 10, 2018 and is on track to finish by the end of 2018.

As of November 26, 2018, the San Marin Lights Project had raised $563,000 of their goal of $600,000 to help fund the addition. The remaining $600,000 of the $1.2 million project was provided by NUSD.

“[Construction] has been going smoothly,” Principal Mark Sims said in mid-October. “We’re ahead of schedule.”

The eight light poles were delivered in three pieces on November 5 from Musco Lighting once the holes were drilled in the ground and the cement bases were laid. The 80 foot poles, each weighing about six thousand pounds, were assembled, and a crane placed them on the cement bases on November 9, two days ahead of schedule according to Sims.

Mike Woolard, the NUSD facilities director, and Melissa Duggan, the NUSD facilities
coordinator, came out to document the progress made on November 9.

Each pole has 4 to 6 lights with multiple LEDs within them.

“These are all directional so that they are targeted down into the field,” Duggan said. “It
targets the lights and minimizes bleed, plus it’s way more energy efficient. We will also have security lighting and we will have additional poles for the new PA system.”

The next steps were to run electricity through the poles and then wait for the court date on November 21, which determined whether the school would be able to begin to use the lights during sports games.

An emergency court hearing was ordered on October 25, when the Coalition to Save San Marin, a group opposed to the construction of lights at the school, filed a motion to stop construction. The judge ruled that the lights’ assembly could continue but they could not be turned on until after the hearing on November 21.

As of December 6, the administration has not received the court’s ruling on whether the school can turn on the lights.

Throughout the project, the school’s administration closed the side of the front parking lot closest to the football field to create more space for the construction crew. The lot was closed for the weeks of October 15 and October 22. After briefly being re-opened in late October, it was closed again from November 5 to November 9 for the crane to install the light posts. While the front parking lot was closed for construction, additional student parking spaces were available in the empty land in front of the softball field and behind the portables at the back of the campus.

“We would hope by the end of November that [the lights] are operational,” Sims said. “I would anticipate that by the second week or so of December they will be ready to go. We definitely think that by the spring season they’ll be up and running.”

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