Lighting at the Rig moves toward completion, school district officials say

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Pearland ISD’s 2016 bond continues to move forward, as Phase 1 of the lighting project at the Rig was completed before the first home game in mid-September.

The lighting improvements at the Rig, Pearland ISD’s multiuse stadium, are paid for through the 2016 bond. Projected funds for the lighting at the Rig, as well as lighting at the softball and baseball fields, equals a total of $584,469.

The Phase 1 lighting consists of LED lights that provide better overall coverage of the field, Superintendent John Kelly said.

“While we’re very happy with the better lighting on the playing field, the temporary lighting in the stands has been less than ideal,” Kelly said. “I probably should have waited to install all the new lights after the football season so that we would have even more illumination of all nonplaying areas.”

Phase 2 of the lighting project consists of providing adequate lighting for the stands and other parts of the stadium. One of the challenges presented is the light poles are located in front of the stands, Kelly said.

“One of the major difficulties for the installation is that the older Rig stadium has light poles located in front of the stands,” Kelly said. “While the new field lights precisely target the playing field, they are designed to avoid shedding light elsewhere. So, illuminating the stands requires a two-step process that is not yet complete.”

According to PISD board President Rebecca Decker, the board will continue to review plans for completing the lighting improvements.

“We aren’t finished yet,” Decker said. “The administration is scheduled to bring back plans for finishing the lights and for other stadium renovation at future board meetings.”

The completion of lighting on the Rig’s field is the first completed item of the bond. The bond, passed in 2016, is almost finished with the design phase for most other projects, according to Director of Facilities and Planning Don Tillis.

“Most everything we are starting to finish up is design; we are preparing to bid some of the projects,” Tillis said.

The $220 million bond will pay for improvements to safety and security, technology, accommodations for the growth of the district and renovation for aging facilities.

The PISD bond will add 30 core classrooms to Glenda Dawson High School, three core classrooms at Robert Turner College and Career High School, as well as supporting facilities at Turner and Pearland high schools. Overall, the bond should allow for roughly 1,200 more students at the district.

Projects from the PISD bond are slated to be complete in summer 2020.

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