Work on the R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium lights should begin immediately after Kilgore High School graduation May 26.
From three proposals, the Kilgore ISD Board of Trustees awarded a contract to Musco Lighting for a cost of $238,700. The price will include new poles and LED lights, which is what Henderson ISD is installing in its football stadium, KISD Chief Financial Officer Revard Pfeffer said.
Kilgore ISD, which shares ownership of the stadium with Kilgore College, will pay for the lights. At some point, Kilgore College will reimburse the district an as-yet undetermined portion.
“They have had this information, and I basically sent an email to [Kilgore College President Dr. Brenda Kays] and just told her at this point we need to move forward because where we are,” KISD Superintendent Cara Cooke told the board Monday. Although Kays expressed the college’s interest in being good partners with the school district, Cooke said, “At this point, they’re not in a position to tell us what they will be able to contribute, so we are bringing this to you tonight and it’s however you wish to move forward. Basically, as I corresponded with her, you would be approving this item with KISD paying for the replacement in full up front, and then we will have to work with them to determine what will be possible for them to contribute, how it will be paid and create an MOU to reflect the partnership moving forward. They do not feel they are in a place at this moment to give definite amount of what will be able to be contributed.”
As trustee Reggie Henson stated, the district’s hands are tied because a decision had to be made.
Pfeffer said without a decision there was a possibility the lights would not be installed and operational by the first KISD football game. KISD will hold a scrimmage Aug. 18 against Gilmer and will host Nacogdoches in Kilgore High School’s first regulation game Sept. 1.
Kilgore College’s first home game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 26 against Tyler Junior College.
Trustee Joe T. Parker supported installing new poles and LED lights.
“You’ve got to have them, and you might as well go LED. In the long run, it’s going to save you on electricity, and then you’ve got a 25-year guarantee,” he said, noting the possibility exists that high intensity discharge (HID) lights will not be available in 25 years.
The proposal includes turning lights at the top to shine down on the stadium’s parking lots and behind the concession stands.
Although Musco proposed discarding the existing lights and poles, Pfeffer said, he does not plan on having the district use the company to get rid of the existing 100-foot poles and lights. Instead, he hopes to get bids from the community or other public entities to take the material for repurposing or scrap material.
The board approved the contract with Musco on a 6-0 vote with Board Vice President Trey Hattaway abstaining from the vote, due to his employment at KC as the director of marketing and enrollment management.