TORONTO -The city high school stadium soon will have a new lighting system, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Charles M. and Thelma M. Pugliese Charitable Foundation.
The grant will go a long way toward funding an $80,000 lighting system at the newly renovated stadium, according to Maureen Taggart, high school principal and district communications coordinator.
"We received the $50,000 grant from the foundation to partially fund the final phase of our stadium lighting project," said Taggart, adding renovating the lighting system at the stadium was one of the committee's long-term goals. "When we began the (stadium renovation) we were looking at other improvements the committee would like to make in the future. We were lucky enough to have some benefactors come forward."
The school district received funds from different sources for stadium renovation projects, including a sound system, new scoreboard and lighting.
"David Hindman of World Radio Telecommunications donated all the labor and installation of our new sound system," Taggart said, adding the scoreboard cost about $23,000. "We had a Toronto High School alumnus, Jim Metcalf, donate the cost of the scoreboard for the stadium. We saved the stadium lighting project for last because it was the most expensive project to take on."
Taggart said advances in stadium lighting technology mean the new lighting system will be a substantial improvement.
"Currently the lighting poles interfere with the view from the stand," Taggart said. "They are going to be moved to give a more clear view of the field. The new lighting also will be more even across the field surface. There won't be any shadows on the field."
Taggart said some of the work needed for the new lighting system was done during the recent stadium overhaul.
"We began the lighting project during the renovation to the home grandstand," she said. "We did that because it was cheaper for us to install conduits and light pole foundations while everything was (accessible). The (Pugliese) Grant funds we received will will be used to purchase the lighting equipment. There will be galvanized steel light (fixtures) and lighting assemblies on top of each pole. We want to have the project finished by June. We're still fundraising to cover labor expenses."
Taggart, who wrote the grant proposal for the funds for the lighting system, said the district is grateful for the foundation's support.
"I was overwhelmed at the foundation's generosity," she said. "I just feel honored they considered our project worthy. Clarke Hinkle Field was the first place (local stadium) to host a nighttime (football) game in 1936. It was actually a Herald-Star sports writer who began calling our team the Red Knights. The entire community will benefit from this project."