Opinion

"Let's put some light on the subject." That's what my father used to tell me when he walked into my room and turned on the lights. At the next board of education meeting on Monday, May 4, the public will hear a presentation from our architect regarding the new track project and the night lights. We will try to shed a little light on the subject.

We would like to extend an invitation to the public to hear about this long-awaited project, and particularly our neighbors who live across the street from the high school track. Like any good neighbor, we do not want to annoy our good neighbors. Over the years I have learned that the more information people have, the greater their understanding, and that tends to ease whatever conflict might be brewing. We also want to hear the concerns of our neighbors.

The track project will break ground at the end of May and is expected to be completed by the end of August. The project will consist of a new track, lighting, a new scoreboard and some new fencing. The track project will include facilities for a high jump, a long jump, and a steeplechase - all of the aspects that will enable us to do full invitational track meets. The track lighting will consist of four high poles with 1,500-watt metal halide fixtures. The poles will be located on both sides of the track at the 20-yard lines. The light fixtures are designed by General Electric and provided with reflectors to distribute and concentrate the light on the track and field and not the surrounding areas. The architect and a representative from General Electric will be at our meeting to answer your questions.

During the architectural design phase of the project, lighting calculations were made by the manufacturers which took into consideration the surrounding areas. All required adjustments are being made by the manufacturer and specific lighting fixtures were selected to ensure that nuisance lighting will be avoided. The light fixtures are mounted so that the contractor will be able to adjust the fixtures horizontally and vertically to concentrate the lights. The architect, the manufacturer and the contractor will all work with the district to make sure that the system is properly installed and that there will be no nuisance to our good neighbors.

Our athletic director is scheduling various games which will be held under the lights. There will probably be two or three football, soccer and lacrosse games played at night. Track meets are seldom held at night. It will be lights out for football games by 10 p.m. and the other sporting events will be finished no later than 9:30 p.m.. These events will be exclusively held on Friday or Saturday nights. The only, non-game activity that will take place will be a Homecoming pep rally which will end by 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25.

Our original vision for the track project was to provide the entire community with the opportunity to walk or run the track for physical fitness purposes. In warmer weather we will illuminate only the track, not the entire field so that people can safely use the track. It would be lights out by 9 p.m. The lighting will be on a timer.

I will be working with the Glen Cove Police Department to ensure that only community groups with approved permits will be able to use our field. We will not give any group a permit to use the lights.

The track represents an attractive and useful resource to our community. We welcome public use and wish you good health and extended life by using our track.


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