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Let There Be Light! Carroll ISD Turns On Controversial Stadium Lights

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jason Allen
Jason came to North Texas after working as a reporter for four y...
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SOUTHLAKE (CBS 11 NEWS) - Carroll ISD flipped the switch Tuesday on field lights some Southlake residents had been trying to stop for years. It took the district just six weeks to get the lights installed and in use, after receiving permission from the Southlake City Council in January.

The lights will allow both the Carroll Senior High baseball and softball teams to play evening games at home, without missing classes to fit in games before the sun goes down. The softball team got the first game under the lights Tuesday. It was essentially the teams first real home game. Athletes used to play games at a city park, in order to play at night.

“We envisioned what we see at every other ball park that we play in,” said Jamie Wimberly who has a daughter on the team. “Just for our girls to have it on their home field is really special.”

The $330,000 lights, which came on just before sunset, have shields intended to focus light on the field. Both the baseball and softball fields are bordered by neighborhoods in the outfield. Residents had voiced concerns the spillover would be a nuisance, along with noise.

From the field, the lights appeared to have minimal spillover into homes Tuesday. Out in the neighborhood however, the lights on 60-foot poles cast long shadows in yards.

School board president Reed Ballew said at the game the board is committed to following through on landscaping plans intended to minimize spillover further. Trees will be planted in the fall, following the construction of a new irrigation well on the property. The lighting manufacturer has also committed to making adjustments, Ballew said. The board also addressed noise from the public address system in its meeting Monday.

“One of the things that was approved for a change was the location of the speaker systems, so they’re pointed back toward the crowds rather than out toward the homes,” Ballew said.

District officials realized Tuesday they will have to adjust their field maintenance schedule with night games. Sprinklers automatically popped up to start watering the outfield during the third inning.

The school plans a bigger event March 12, when both the baseball and softball teams will play home games at night.

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