Archbold Area School District officials still have not decided what to do about the first home football game, Friday night, Aug. 27.
The issue is in question because the galvanized steel poles that held the floodlights at the Archbold High School football stadium were deemed unsafe. They were taken down last month.
Deskins said new poles were ordered from a Nebraska firm. They are designed to fit the concrete bases used by the old poles, to carry the lighting system.
But the current time line says the new poles won’t be in place until Friday, Sept. 17 – just in time for the second home game.
In response to a question from Tony Warncke, board member, Deskins said Allan Gladieux, AHS athletic director, is looking into the cost of renting portable, temporary lights for the first home game.
Deskins said Gladieux is seeking donations to help offset the cost of renting lights, which “are not cheap.”
Warncke asked what would be the deciding factor. Deskins said if the cost of the lights is more than the anticipated gate receipts, then the district will look at other solutions, such as starting the game earlier, during daylight hours.
Donations, which would defray the cost of the lights, could be a factor in the decision, he said.
Warncke also asked what guarantee the school district has on the new poles. Deskins said he did not know if the new poles will have a warranty, but the same Michigan-based inspection lab that tested the old light poles will also test the new ones for safety.
Warncke asked about receiving compensation for the failure of the old light poles. Deskins said since the company that manufactured the original poles is out of business, there will probably be a class action suit against the former owners of the company in the future.
Deskins said two years ago, the school board moved some of the revenue it receives from inside millage to create a new permanent improvement fund with a stable source of revenue.
Inside millage is non-voted millage the school collects. The district is guaranteed a certain amount of inside millage based on state law.
The light pole issue is a perfect example of why creating the permanent improvement fund was a good idea.
The money for replacing the defective poles can come from the permanent improvement fund, rather than the general fund.
Deskins said if the money came from the general fund, it would be taking the money from fulfilling student needs.
Also, Deskins said Gladieux had been setting aside money for maintenance at the stadium. Money from that fund could also go toward the light pole project.
Because of the immediate need to purchase replacement light poles, school district officials ordered the lights without competitive bidding.
Board members passed a resolution approving the purchase as an emergency action.