Written by Daniel Offner Friday, 04 April 2014 00:00
In response to numerous requests from the Island Trees school community, the district plans to turn on the new high school stadium lights from Monday to Thursday until 9 p.m., on a trial basis. According to school officials, the pilot will help the district evaluate the community usage to determine if it will extend the stadium hours of operation in the future.
“The soccer club is trying to take as much practice time as they can at night,” said Island Trees Schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy. “And our youth football team will want equal time.”
According to Murphy, before coming into the Island Trees school district, several parents had asked the district permit the use of the stadium’s lights for varsity track athletes to practice. “That never transpired,” he replied.
With requests from coaches, teachers, and students to use the facilities after hours, and with the weather starting to warm up, the district felt it was a good time to reexamine turning on the lights in the evening.
“Levittown keeps theirs on all the time,” said School Board President Ken Rochon. “It costs a lot of money to keep them running.”
The trial is estimated to cost the district $2,000 for the month, which includes security and energy costs. For Rochon, the only concern with the test trial, is the potential that the use of the lights will draw in outside organizations and groups looking to host sporting events.
“We can’t allow that right now,” Rochon said. “We only wanted to give people in the community an opportunity to use the facility they pay for.”
Residents interested in exercising on the track may do so in the evening, provided it is not used for school purposes. To request use of the athletic field and facilities, contact the facilities office for a permit at 516-520-2108.