News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 24, 2013

Vigo schools look to replace baseball field light poles

Sue Loughlin
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The Vigo County School Corp. plans to ask the School Board for an emergency declaration to replace baseball field light poles at the three high schools.

The replacement is needed for safety reasons, officials say. The cost to replace the lighting system at all three fields is estimated at about $375,000, or $125,000 per site. The Capital Projects Fund would be used.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the administration building, 686 Wabash Ave.

The emergency declaration is needed to use capital projects funding to replace the lighting system at North Vigo, South Vigo and West Vigo high school baseball fields.

Wood light poles would be replaced with metal ones.

On Feb. 1, a light pole on the North Vigo baseball diamond snapped at its base; a storm with strong winds had occurred the night before.

The wooden light pole had lost its structural integrity because of aging and exposure to weather, according to a letter written by district legal counsel Charles Rubright of Bose, McKinney and Evans.

“If individuals had been on the baseball diamond during the time the pole collapsed, there could have been serious injuries or death to more than one individual,” Rubright wrote.

Upon inspection, other North Vigo light poles had the same problem.

He noted that the baseball diamonds will soon be used for practices. In declaring an emergency, the board can act more quickly to replace the lighting by soliciting quotes from at least two vendors, if necessary.

If the district used a formal bidding process, replacement of the lights “could not be accomplished prior to the date these baseball fields are scheduled to be used,” Rubright wrote.

Superintendent Dan Tanoos said the wooden light poles — six at each site — have been reviewed, and the district has decided to replace all of them, pending board approval. “They’re very old,” he said.

The project also involves replacing light fixtures and electrical work, said Franklin Fennell, VCSC director of facility support.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or sue.loughlin@