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Friday Night Lights All Week Long?

Board of Education raises topic of installing lights on MHS football field.

For some, high school football played at the end of a busy week–Friday Night Lights–is as American a pastime as . 

In the Morris School District, however, it is reserved for special occasions, with portable lights brought onto so the Colonials can see the ball in front of them.

A question was raised during the Board of Education's Jan. 23 meeting, however, on whether permanent lights could, and should, be installed.

It was an idea quickly dismissed by board member Peter Gallerstein. He cited a proposal a few years ago to install lights at Harter Field in Morris Township, an idea he also was against.

"I was very much in favor of stopping that in its tracks," Gallerstein said at the meeting. Potential issues with light flooding into adjacent neighborhoods was one of the issues that ultimately killed that idea.

Gallerstein said permanent lights at the Morristown High School football field would be even worse, due to the high density of the area. "It's right in the middle of town," he said. "And, it won't be for just football. We could have games there seven days a week."

Student representative Zaji Zabalerio also noted , which could significantly alter the landscape in that area over the next several years. "It's not just the dense population, you'll now have commercial space [when the project is completed]," he said.

Morris School District Business Administrator Christine Kelly said the question on how much a cost analysis for the possible project would be was presented to an architect. However, "a penny will not be spent until it comes back," she said.

Even if the project was somehow offered to the district cost-free, though, Gallerstein said, "I'd probably still be against it."

Denis Ciklic January 24, 2012 at 02:15 AM
I think lights on the field would be great for the students of Morristown High School. It would be a great experience for the kids in our community...I know when I was the freshmen boys soccer coach at the high school it was a very popular idea with all the parents. If we put lights on the turf the varsity soccer team wouldn't have to use the Harter Rd field for the home games. We could power the turf lights with solar panels & fund the project with a Purchase Power Agreement, which would be a minimal cost to the taxpayers. Turf lights would benifit all of the athletic programs at the high school...not just football.
Margret Brady January 24, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Lights at night are not healthy for the children sleeping nearby or any resident. With any proposal, you have to consider the impact on the area and not just the minority of students, who I am sure could have meaningful productive lives without night lights on their athletic fields. I would also be concerned about the noise. I would bet that most in favor of this live elsewhere.

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