Published Sept. 7, 2023
BY AVERY PALSHAW
The construction of the football field stadium lights at Carmel High School began May 8 and is due to be completed by Oct. 27 of this year, possibly just in time for the last home football game of the 2023 season Oct. 28 against Soledad High School.
The million-dollar project has commenced with the digging of trenches for an electrical conduit to power the lights and drilling holes in the stadium bleachers for more conduit. Four 80-foot light posts will be located around the field, two on the home team side and two directly across the field on the visitor side, district officials say.
According to CHS athletic director and varsity football coach Golden Anderson, the stadium lights are only scheduled to go on during sports practices and games that continue until dark. The construction should not interfere with any field sports.
“We anticipate they will be used Monday through Friday during the seasons that have practices that extend past sundown,” adds Dan Paul, chief operations officer for Carmel Unified School District.
CHS field sport coaches like varsity field hockey coach Cassandra Hanson and varsity boys’ soccer coach Scott Hirschfield express that the implementation of stadium lights will positively affect the school’s culture among students on and off the field.
“It would be great to have stadium lights by the end of season.” says Hanson, “Being able to have senior night under the lights would be really special for the girls.”
Hirschfield notes that junior varsity soccer teams practice and play games at Carmel Middle School due to light constraints, a problem he says he hopes the lights will solve. Putting in place the lights could also potentially enable later school start and better access to the turf field in months when the sun sets earlier.
“Longer days of course will be a trade off, but it will make access specifically for winter teams fairer for both levels of teams.” remarks varsity girls’ soccer coach Steven Russell. “[Junior varsity] and varsity teams can now use the field for practice and games.”
Contracted by Monterey Peninsula Engineering, the installation of the light pole bases is estimated to occur in the next few weeks and the completion is dependent on the delivery of the light poles, according to Paul.