By MIKE WEST, Courier Editor
Reynolds Lighting of Dickson was awarded the $140,500 contract for new football field lights at Cannon County High School.
The contract, approved by the Cannon County Board of Education Thursday night (Oct. 9) calls for 50 candlepower lights installed on metal poles with underground wiring.
Reynolds bested a $178,000 bid made by Knight Lightning of Russellville, Ky.
"That's about a $30,000 difference," said Randy Gannon, school board chairman.
"It's the same system, but different companies," explained Barbara Parker, director of schools. Parker said the bid includes taking down the existing wiring and removing the wooden poles currently on the high school field.
The school board voted in favor the $140,500 contract after hearing a presentation by board member Bruce Daniel, who is the father of CCHS Coach T.J. Daniel.
Daniel supported the concept of the 50 candlepower lights as opposed to 30 candlepower.
"Fifty is the way to go, 30 is inferior when it comes to a football field," Daniel said.
The smaller candlepower lights are typically used to illuminate soccer fields and the outfields of baseball fields, he said.
Daniel said the plans for the Cannon County field were similar to a project recently completed for Cornersville, but not as bright as the lighting at Watertown High School. Tullahoma also has 50 candlepower lights.
He also urged the board members to include the 25-year maintenance plan.
The plan will control the lighting by computer located at the school board offices and at Reynolds Lighting. "It will give us much more control and will notify them immediately if a problem develops," Daniel said.
"We had estimated the cost could be as much as $180,000 so we are coming in low," he said.
"I had been all in favor of a 30 candlepower system with a maintenance contract," said Chairman Gannon. "The maintenance contract takes care of all the do-overs."
But after hearing Daniel's presentation, Gannon said it was obvious the board should approve the 50 candlepower lighting.
Gannon moved for acceptance of the contract. Daniel seconded. The measure passed unanimously.
In other action, the school board deferred any action on a suggestion made by Neal Appelbaum, director of the Arts Center of Cannon County.
Appelbaum had offered a 40-year lease of land at the Arts Center for development of a community-wide soccer complex.
"Do we want to pursue this or keep it on a back burner?" asked Gannon.
"It's a great idea, but nothing we should jump right into," said board member Shelley Walkup.
It will take a lot of work and a lot of money to develop a soccer field there, Walkup said, suggesting that it might be a more appropriate question for the town of Woodbury or Cannon County.
Currently, the CCHS soccer team uses the football field at the high school.
"I know no one likes sharing that field," Gannon said. "I appreciate what Mr. Appelbaum is offering," he continued.
No action was taken.