BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – The Bronxville Board of Education will discuss at its Monday meeting the results of a feasibility study regarding the viability of lighting at Chambers Field.
There will be presentations from Athletic Director Karen Peterson and the district’s architecture firm, KG & D Architects. There will then be a discussion among the members of the board and a period of public comments. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium.
The proposed lights have become a divisive issue for residents living near the field who fear the lights pose an environmental threat, will create health risks and will decrease the quality of life and home values in Bronxville.
“We are evaluating a number of possible solutions to address the issues, with our goal being to meet the needs of our student participants,” Board of Education President David Brashear said. “The possible installation of lights on Chambers Field is one option, and the feasibility study we commissioned was an initial step to help determine if it is a viable option.”
The study will determine whether proposed lighting will meet state requirements that govern though environmental impact on the area, though Brashear cautions that no decisions have been made yet. With lights, Chambers Field would become more viable, allowing more teams to use the field longer.
Currently, games need to start no later than 4:15 p.m. so they can finish in the daylight. This poses scheduling problems and makes it more difficult for working parents to attend games.
The problems arose as participation in sports rapidly increased in recent years. Last year, 415 middle and high school students played organized school sports, a 35 percent increase from a decade ago.
“The board will continue its analysis of the field space demands of our athletic teams, and seek ways to add field hours to our athletic program,” Brashear said. “The board is continuing to gather data on other available options, and on details of field usage by school teams and non-school teams.”
According to Molly Hendrick, who is part of a small coalition of Bronxville parents eagerly pursuing lights, this is something residents and athletes have wanted for nearly a decade.
“There has been a group that wanted to pursue lights in 2005 when the turf field was installed,” she said. “As our kids have grown and started playing for school teams, we see the limited field space our school has. We think it’s necessary to consider lights again.”
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