Follow up on installation of lights

Diagram showing how lights shine on different parts of turf field
Diagram showing how lights shine on different parts of turf field
Leah Simpson

On March 27, a follow-up meeting was held by Dr. Brotschul to discuss the updates of the new light installation process at the turf field. Dr. Brotschul discussed more information on the spillage of lights, economic preparedness, and pole height. The positive and negative outcomes were also compared based on feedback from the last meeting. The clear positive outcomes of the new lights are equitable practices for field access, safety for participants and attendees, and school district reputation. Although, some concerns are aesthetics (pole height), economics, and Olcott Avenue impact (being a good neighbor while enhancing facilities).


After recapping where the project stands, Dr. Brotschul addressed what the next steps of the project will be. The main concerns to address are being a good neighbor, solidifying the long term plan vision, and economics. Money was a big concern, although, Dr. Brotshul said, “I believe we can fit it into the budget without extra tax paying.”


One of the biggest concerns about installing new lights is the people living in neighboring houses complaining that it would ruin their view and there would be light spillage into their house. However, there have been many reasons brought up as to why light spillage should not be a concern. This is because the light spillage right now is actually worse due to the poles being shorter. At the meeting, diagrams were given out illustrating how the lights only shine where they are needed. The playing field is 55 lumens of lights while even just the area around the track is 10 lumens. Lumens meaning a measure of the perceived power of lights emitted by a source. The further you get from the field, there is no light spillage.


After light spillage was addressed, Peter Kellogg, one of the surrounding neighbors of the school said, “Even if there is no light spillage, it’s the visual height of the pole I’m worried about.”


In effort to address this concern there has been an organized trip to Morristown High School to get an idea of neighborhood impact. They have just recently installed their own new lights, so there was an open invitation to all to see how they were working, as they have a similar neighborhood surrounding. People who went on the trip to Morristown High School report that the lights look amazing. There was a lacrosse game happening at the time the trip occurred, and the lights lit up the field beautifully, creating a great atmosphere.


People at the meeting were then able to go to separate rooms to express their ideas and concerns. Dr. Brotschul and others are aiming to meet everyone’s questions, ideas, and concerns to help benefit the school and neighborhood. There has also been a Google Form sent out to get a poll on how many people are for the lights or against it, and there is also a place on the Google Form for anyone to give feedback and share their thoughts.


The solution to a better sports field has been in the works for a long time, so many people hope to see the new LED lights as soon as possible before the school moves forward, Dr. Brotschul and everyone involved are making sure to get the feedback needed to ensure they are doing the best for both the athletics at Bernards and still be a great neighbor. It is time Bernards High School got their turf field up to date by upgrading the lights to provide a much safer and beneficial environment to all athletic teams.

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