It’s not certain when the next football game will be played at Jack Lytton Stadium but when it happens, the lights will be much, much brighter thanks to a project recently completed by the Denair Lions Club.
“It’s a big difference,” said Mark Hodges, the school district’s director of maintenance and facilities. “I told one of the guys we’re going to have to give all the football players sunglasses. The end zones used to be a little dark, but now the field is lit from end to end.”
More than a dozen Lions Club members spent part of Nov. 13-14 installing the new LED lights, which are far more powerful and energy efficient than the 1,000-watt bulbs they replaced. Each of the six light standards at the stadium have six fixtures. Hodges expects the new lights to last at least 15 years, given the normal usage of the field.
The $60,000 cost of the project was part of Denair Unified’s recent $2.5 million upgrade of lighting, air conditioning and heating, and watering systems at its campuses.
In addition to the volunteer labor, Hodges said the Lions Club paid for the two aerial lifts needed to access the light standards.
“I think the community is blessed to have a group like the Lions Club to do these projects,” he said.
Hodges – a 1979 graduate of Denair High – recalls when the stadium was built in the mid-1970s.
“I played my first football game there in 1976 when I was a sophomore,” he said. “I’ll bet some of the lights that we replaced were probably that old.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, fall sports – including football – have been postponed indefinitely. There is a chance the season could be played after the first of the year if COVID numbers in Stanislaus County and other parts of the region show enough improvement.