North plans to install permanent lights at Dickinson Stadium


Kathryn Fine

Newton North Athletic Boosters, a group of parents who work to improve the athletic program, announced a partnership with the City of Newton to fund permanent lights at Dickinson Stadium. 

If enough money is raised in time, the lights are hoped to be installed for the fall 2022 season. The new lights will be more environmentally friendly and create a more equitable athletics program.

According to principal Henry Turner, this new installation would allow more athletic teams to hold games and practices under the lights and would address sport and gender equity issues that have arisen. 

Michael Jackson, the athletics director, said that the change would guarantee all teams to play at least two times under the lights.

“If we get lights we’re going to play on a normal Friday night like everyone else plays, and then all the other teams will have at least two times under the lights,” said Michael Jackson, the athletic director.

According to Turner, the new lights may also extend practice times and allow for more enjoyable competitions.

“Lights extend the season for our fall programs, allow our winter sports to utilize the track and field during the months when darkness and late dismissal are simultaneous, and will give our spring sports teams their first opportunity to compete at home under the lights,” Turner said.

Previously, North has rented field lights each fall season from Sunbelt Rentals, a company that rents different lighting for all sorts of occasions. 

“We will most likely be going with the same Musco light system as was installed at NSHS. We will be getting the best price possible for materials and engineering/installation services,” said Nicole Banks, the commissioner of Newton Parks and Recreation and point person for the project.

According to their website, Musco Lighting is vowed to be more environmentally friendly, with up to 80% cuts on energy consumption. The system will dramatically reduce North’s carbon footprint, cutting energy consumption by up to 80 percent.

“New light technology that is quiet, clean, and creates virtually no light pollution will replace the temporary lights we bring in each fall,” Turner wrote in an email. 

Parents can donate to the cause and help North reach the lofty goal of $270,000.