Friday night lights follow-up

Kelsey Warren, contributing writer

In the September edition of Tiger Tales, there was an article regarding Friday night football games. As people have been reading the article, there have been comments made in regard to the Friday Games, therefore; further clarification was obtained.

One main concern was whether or not Friday night games could be reinstated; however, this is a more complex issue than one would expect.

Last year, there was a presentation taken to the Board of Education stating the facts about Friday games vs. Saturday games. The presentation conveyed information to the school board regarding cost, number of personnel, and changes needed to be made to the stadium. Reeta Consulting, an outside source presented this information to the school board. The board did not approve to make the change to Friday Games. To Dickinson, Friday night football is a tradition that he would like to see return. In a phone call, Dickinson stated, “After being elected into the board I really wanted to try and change the fact that the district no longer has Friday night football. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make the change. If there was any possible way I could bring back Friday night football to the Joliet community, I would.”

One issue in the presentation that had a large impact on the decision on Friday games was the difference in cost. Especially with the needed upgrades the West stadium needs along with advanced personnel for the night games.

“Is now the right time to make the changes? Is it economically safe for our district?” Both very important questions the school board has asked themselves. JTHS recognizes there is a need for enhanced facilities but currently JTHS does not have the financial resources to do so. According to the presentation the current cost is $2,600 for personnel but if the games were moved to Friday nights the cost of increased personnel would quickly go up to $6,300. In addition to personnel, the West stadium would need new fencing, costing $134,000. On the west side of the stadium the parking lot lighting would need to be upgraded According to officer Guy, the gravel lot is not safe because the gravel is not set in place therefore it can move and someone may possibly get hurt. The restrooms and restroom lighting needs to be upgraded as well as renting portable lights for a few dark spots in the stadium. All of the upgrades needed are not in the plans to be done anytime soon.

With that being said, this leaves parents and students all asking the same questions, “If the improvements need to be made to the campus why aren’t they being done now? If these improvements aren’t being done now than when will they be done?” According to Dickinson, the school does not have the money to fund the improvements. The state will also not help fund the school in any way for the improvements. Therefore West cannot update the stadium to standard needs because it is too costly. Perhaps, this means it is time for the community of Joliet to take the initiative and find creative ways to fund these advancements.