July 17, 2020 • Facilities

Lighting it up: How one school district upgraded their stadium experience

{Sponsored} For school districts across the country, the ability to host sporting events at night, with properly lit fields and stadiums, has become a priority. In 2017, the Danville Area School District in Danville, Pennsylvania, began a renovation of their multipurpose stadium, Ironmen Stadium, with lighting being a top priority.

Rick Engle, who was the facilities director at the Danville Area School District for 21 years before recently retiring, handled “anything and everything” that dealt with the facilities, grounds and sports venues owned by the district. When watching TV, Engle said he saw a shot of Ironmen Stadium — which is mainly used for football, soccer and lacrosse — that ultimately led him to begin researching alternative lighting options.

“Before we did the project, I saw our field on TV with HID (high intensity discharge) lights, and our field looked yellow,” Engle said. “Our field was a nice green field, with nice grass and everything, but with those HIDs it just looked bad.”

After utilizing the Keystone Purchasing Network and ultimately deciding to work with Musco Sports Lighting on the project, Engle said the process began with some site visits of previously completed projects with Jordan Pierce of Musco. “I loved the work that they did (on those projects) with new LED lighting,” Engle said.

From there, Musco worked with Engle to help identify the lighting needs for Ironmen Stadium, and got started on installing new LED lighting systems to brighten the field — even taking care of any post-project issues the district had.
Following installation of the new LED lighting, the district did a field survey to determine the quality of the job and noticed that, although the field was lit perfectly, there were “harsh” lines where the light cut off — creating what Engle described as “almost a dark wall” between the lighted area and some of the seating and walkways.

Full-field-250-KPN-Danville Area School District Ironman Stadium“On our project, they did a fantastic job with our new lighting — our field looked unbelievable when they were done,” Engle said. “We had that one issue, and it really may not have even been Musco’s issue. But they flew someone in and he got a lift in there, and right before our second game, redirected a couple of the lights to get some lighting in those dark areas. It really wasn’t a part of their contract, but they took care of it for us anyway.”

When it came to finding the right partner for the project, Engle said that using the Keystone Purchasing Network had many benefits, which ultimately led to the district getting a quality project completed with virtually no issues. But the ability to work directly with manufacturers who value quality was what Engle said he valued the most.

“With KPN, it’s like a fast track — you don’t have to go through the whole bidding process and jump through 10 different hoops to get some of this stuff done,” Engle said. “And pricing wasn’t everything. The quality is the first thing we look at, as well as the service and the warranty. Musco, which we found through KPN, certainly got five stars in all of those areas.”

The KPN purchasing program has been helping school districts for over 45 years. When school districts use KPN preferred vendors, they’re working with vendors whose employees have been fully vetted and passed background checks, making the process seamless. All bids will also comply with federal, state and local laws.
For more information about KPN, visit www.theKPN.org.

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