Lights going up at Friendship Park

Published 5:24 pm Friday, February 29, 2008

Lights to shine on this years baseball and softball season are going up and should be done by the end of March, provided the weather stays dry.

Ganes Clements, general contractor for Kenneth R. Thompson Builders Inc. of Greenwood, said that in two weeks he expects to have all the lights on the baseball side of the park up and going. By the end of the month all the fields should be touting new lights.

The job to install the lights is about 90 percent electrical work, which will be handled by Lesley Electric, also of Greenwood.

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Clements said workers will install 27 light poles and conduct some concrete work, such as dugouts and canopies. The crew has been working everyday they can, sometimes on weekends, to stay on time, Clements said.

“If we don’t have too many snafus, we should be done by the end of March,” Clements said.

In an effort to speed up the work, all the lights will be pre-aimed so they pour light in the proper areas on field. If there are aiming problems they will be resolved with a bucket truck after the lights are installed, Clements said.

“They are doing everything they can to make our ball season possible. Because of their hard work it looks like it will be ready on opening day,” said Ryan Moreaux Jr., Friendship Park Recreation director.

The new lights will be able to withstand 125-mile-per-hour winds. They feature reinforced concrete poles and will be installed 20 feet deep and encased in concrete.

Work on the light poles would have begun earlier, but a mix-up with Federal Emergency Management paperwork held thing up, Moreaux said. The hold up lasted about 27 days.

“That hurt cause it was dry the whole time,” Clements said.