FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: With high cost of Badger Stadium lights, district eyes LED upgrade

School administrators say Badger Stadium needs LED lights in order to cut down on the high cost of keeping the lights on at football games


Over the past three years, Arkadelphia Public Schools have spent more than $50,000 in repairs and bulb replacements on the four poles at Badger Stadium, administrators told the Arkadelphia Board of Education during a meeting Tuesday.

Reviewing an October maintenance report, school board member Matt Johnson questioned how much is spent on the lights annually. Jimmy King, director of support services, explained that, each of the 64 lights requires a bulb, a ballast and a breaker. To replace all three components for one light costs the district about $500 in parts alone — “you can pretty much double that with labor,” he said.

Asked by board president Blake Bell whether the district should budget for new lights in the near future, King said the need isn’t immediate but should be on the board’s radar.

The lighting system was new when Badger Stadium was built more than two decades ago, King said, so now it’s time to consider an upgrade to LED lights. “The current equipment and controls are currently operational but in bad shape,” King mentioned in his maintenance report. “The breaker panels are obsolete and the wiring, fixtures and seals are very brittle.”

LED lights could be retro-fitted to the existing poles, and while the up-front cost might be expensive, King said they would require fewer lights and less electricity to power them.

No action was taken on the discussion, but the board expressed interest in contracting with the Gurdon-based Pilgreen Electrical Service or Hellas Construction, the Texas company that installed the artificial turf.

RELATED: School board OKs more funding for Badger Stadium turf

Student transfers left to superintendent’s discretion

The board voted unanimously to give Superintendent Nikki Thomas the authority to grant student transfers into and out of the district. The school board had been considering each transfer in its monthly public meetings, but new legislation gives superintendents the permission to grant transfers.

Thomas said that, in the event she feels a transfer should be contested, she would bring the decision to the board.

Security systems at AHS, Goza headed for upgrade

A “massive” upgrade to the current camera systems, now over a decade old, are due for a $149,000 upgrade thanks to a safety grant that will cover the full cost.

To upgrade the cameras and software, the district will use KLC, a TEXarkana company recently contracted to install the safety system at the new Peake Elementary School campus.

Arkadelphia Public Schools 2022-23 Report Card

Click the links below to view each campus’s accountability scores provided by the Arkansas Department of Education.

Arkadelphia High School

Goza Middle School

Peake Elementary School

Perritt Primary School

Thomas noted the district had scores to celebrate, as Arkadelphia students scored above the state average in 10 subjects. Overall ESSA scores, she added, are beginning to recover after the Covid pandemic. CLICK HERE to see those results.

In other business, the board:

• Expelled a student for making verbal threats of violence. The expulsion lasts one calendar year.

• Renewed a 36-month copier agreement at a cost of $2,829 per month plus $.0039 per copy, per machine.

Personnel report

Following a 12-minute executive session, the school board reconvened to approve the following personnel recommendations:

Shae Wallace, kindergarten paraprofessional, Perritt
Tineska Bledsoe, kindergarten paraprofessional, Perritt
Orien Sims, behavior interventionist, Perritt

Anderson Thomas, custodian, Goza

Rescind offer of employement
Adala Jones

Temporary MOU’s
Bus monitor
Sandra Chicas

AHS Saturday School
Trent Smith

Quiz Bowl sponsors
Adrienne Doles
Steve Patterson
Beverly Slavins
Misti Dixon

Casey Jackson

Planning/grading for Steve Patterson
Beverly Slavens
Grant Reimers