New field lights to aid athletics

As students walk onto the 3700 Coldwater campus, new field lights tower overhead. The lights will allow teams to practice and play games on Ted Slavin field well into the night.

Because field space and light are limited, in the past the school has arranged for teams to conduct practices and games at off-campus facilities. The football team has played its home games at Valley and Pierce College and the soccer teams occasionally practiced at nearby Beeman Park. However, the installation of the lights ushers in a new generation of Harvard-Westlake sports, one where all teams can enjoy the state-of-the-art facilities.

The plan calls for two time slots to be scheduled after school. During each sport season, a few teams will share the field in the early afternoon while the rest of the teams will practice later in the evening, utilizing the lights.

“Our goal is to minimize the number of teams traveling off campus for practices and games,” Athletic Director in charge of communications Terry Barnum said. “Some teams will have to practice later, but we are addressing the problems that come with that like bussing and homework.”

The Athletic Department is looking at bus schedules and investigating various options. One option is to to create a new bus designed to accommodate those who practice later.

However, the school is not cutting ties with the current off-campus venues it has established a working relationship with.

“Cost is not the first criteria we evaluate with athletic endeavors,” Barnum said. “We look at what’s best for the students and the team, and we make it work. We are going to continue our relationships and be good partners like we’ve been thus far.”

The main reason for installing the lights was to promote more athletic activities on campus.
“It is still up in the air how many more activities the lights will bring to campus,” Barnum said. “We are not sure how they are going to work out but we are going to give it a try this year and see how things go.”

The lights were erected over spring break. They will first be used when the football team plays Pasadena High School. The freshman team will play at 4 p.m. and the varsity team will play at 7 p.m.