Howard stadium closed until all poles are replaced

Today's boys lacrosse is moved to Wilde Lake

Notebook

High School

April 12, 2002|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

The lighting situation at Howard High's football stadium is in limbo again.

One day after the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, Inc. offered to replace for free a wooden light pole that had blown down during a storm, an independent inspector found yesterday that the other nine light poles have deteriorated beyond repair.

Howard's stadium is closed to the public until all of the poles and light fixtures can be removed.

Today's scheduled Howard boys lacrosse game against Wilde Lake has been moved to Wilde Lake.

And Tuesday's scheduled Howard girls lacrosse game against Glenelg must also be moved to another location, said Howard athletic director Vince Parnell. "We haven't decided where to play that game."

The poles were erected in 1962 through community contributions, and their life expectancy was 35 to 40 years.

Ray-Lee Transportation, Inc. performed the inspection by drilling into the poles to check for dry rot, and doing a sound test by rapping on them near their base with a hammer, said Parnell.

"They made a hollow sound which indicated they were dry-rotted," he said. "The county will remove the light fixtures and cap the electricity, but another company will have to be hired to remove the poles."

Parnell said he has asked BGE for a proposal for the cost of new lights.

"We definitely don't want to go back to the same kind of poles."

Mike Mershon, a salesperson in BGE's sports and specialty lighting department, initated his company's involvement and estimated the new lighting would cost in the $70,000 to $90,000 range. "We'll give them an ultra-competitive price and will be willing to do the design and engineering drawings for free."

Girls fields shrink

Nine girls lacrosse fields must be reconfigured because their creases are too close to the football goal posts and represent a safety hazard, said Don Disney, Howard county coordinator of athletics yesterday.

Currently, the girls' goal area is behind the boys' goal area and closer to the football goal posts. The change will cut 10 meters off the length of the girls field.

"Some of the coaches whose teams like to fast break are not happy about shortening the field," Disney said. "Their fields will now be the minimum length allowed."

He said that the change was requested by the lacrosse officials association.

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