WAITSBURG - Things will be brighter at the Waitsburg athletic field, and safer as well, thanks to a unanimous decision by the Waitsburg School Board to move forward with replacing stadium lights, poles and upgrading electrical service to the field.
The wood poles are about 35 years old and are showing their age with splitting and bowing, Superintendent Carol Clarke said.
The lights that allow the athletic teams to play at night are unreliable, and their age renders them unrepairable, Clarke said. Lights have gone out several times during games, and "the breakers are on the verge of popping all the time," she said.
The district will use money from its capital projects fund for the upgrades, and Clarke said the board has asked her to approach the Associated Student Body for some help with buying the lights.
Cost of the power service upgrade is about $22,000, and the lights can be purchased used from Walla Walla University for $15,000.
The need for the upgrade came to a head at the last regular board meeting Feb. 8, when the board considered a proposal by the Lions and Booster clubs to build a press box at the field, which is located on east 10th Street. Board members realized the electrical service at the field is inadequate for the addition, and set a special meeting Thursday to consider the matter.
There was no one at the special meeting except board members, Clarke, and two other school employees, Clarke said.
School officials hope to get the project under way within two to three weeks to ensure its completion in time for fall sports.