Last updated: June 26. 2014 1:00PM - 415 Views
By Jane Beathard jbeathard@civitasmedia.com

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Friday Night Lights are going to be brighter at London High School’s Bowlus Field in the fall.

Construction of a new lighting system that includes metal poles is scheduled to begin this week, according to Superintendent Tom Ben.

Ben told board of education members on Tuesday the project should be completed by August.

Abrupt collapse of a metal pole at the football field in 2011 mandated removal of the former lighting system. Temporary wooden poles replaced the metal structures. Those will come down within days, Ben said.

He advised against earlier plans to re-erect the wooden poles on the school’s soccer field. Ben said the poles are too short for spectator comfort during night games.

Ben recommended demolishing or donating the poles to the Madison County Fair Board.

“They always have a need for additional lighting (at the fairgrounds),” he said.

Board member Darryl Brown said London’s parks and recreation department might want the poles. Ben said he will discuss the issue with Steve Hume, the city’s safety-services director.

Board member Martha Geib, M.D., noted the London Area Baseball Council is soliciting donations for new field lights.

Also on Tuesday, Ben reported a contact from Verizon, regarding a new transmission tower on school property.

He said the cell phone carrier wants to erect a 190-foot tower on a 50-foot by 50-foot parcel along Keny Boulevard, behind the current soccer field. Keny Boulevard would provide access to the proposed tower.

Verizon proposed a $1,000-per-month lease on the parcel. Ben will seek independent legal counsel on the proposal. He said district lawyers declined to provide an opinion since their firm also represents Verizon.

Board members Brown and Curtis Brooks said they also want to review Verizon’s written offer.

Treasurer Kristine Blind is consulting with her Ohio counterparts for advice on the issue.

In other routine meeting business on Tuesday, school board members:

• Hired teachers Gabriella Stein, Ashley Beery, Kyle Cutler and Tim Tanner for the 2014-15 school year. Stein will teach middle school mathematics; Beery will teach kindergarten; Cutler, the head football coach, will teach high school physical education and health; Tanner will teach vocal music at both the middle and high school buildings.

• Agreed to hire a middle school intervention specialist for the upcoming school year.

• Approved an assistant athletic director’s job at the middle school. A staff member already fills the position, Ben said.

• Agreed to spend $5,000 for participation in a Battelle For Kids professional development collaborative.

• Contracted with the Madison-Champaign Educational Services Center for an additional speech therapist. The district will pay $30,343 for 72 days of work under the new contract.

• Approved a new fee schedule for middle school students, as well as members of the middle school band.

Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1616 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.

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