New football lights to be installed

By Jonathan Delozier -

Four new LED poles are set to be installed in the coming weeks at the Wellington Dukes’ football stadium on Dickson Street following preliminary approval from the village planning commission.

The lights will cost the district roughly $250,000 and be provided by Tipp City-based Energy Optimizers USA.

School district superintendent Ed Weber said the job will be completed by July 15 at the latest, well before the Dukes’ Sept. 7 home opener against the New London Wildcats.

“Everything is moving along according to schedule,” he said. “It’s all part of the contract that was negotiated so I don’t imagine any changes will be made.”

Questions remain regarding the replacement of the stadium’s running track and what approach will be taken to revamp its locker room areas.

Replacing the existing track with a new latex surface carries a base cost of $260,000 with additional options — including new fencing and high-jump and pole vault areas — that could drive the final tally up to $406,000.

Weber said the bidding process for the track’s replacement could begin in July or January.

“We’re exploring an expedited time schedule, the one in July,” he said. “We haven’t decided which one will be best yet but they’ll both go before the board. It also still hasn’t been decided whether the field house will stay at the stadium.”

Willoughby-based TDA Architecture has been tasked with planning a multi-year improvement process at the stadium that encompasses the new lights, track, locker rooms, and football field.

Three plans for the locker rooms were presented in April to the school board.

Plan one entails adding on to the stadium’s existing fieldhouse to include a new visitor’s locker room and all-purpose storage area. It would put those additions on the west side of the fieldhouse and cost $350,000 with soil conditions, relocation of utilities, and interior renovations potentially adding on another $225,000.

Specs for plan two essentially mirror plan one but would put the additions on the south side of the field house, which would involve more extensive utility work and run anywhere from $800,000 to $1 million. Additional costs could also be added on to that total depending on conditions during construction.

For plan three, the fieldhouse would be demolished and replaced with an entirely new structure located behind the south end zone that would house the home locker room, visitors locker room, and weight room. A small storage space would be located near the new building.

That 10,000-square-foot building would cost roughly $1.5 million plus another $80,000 for demolition and an expansion of parking spaces around the site.

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

By Jonathan Delozier