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The new Panther Soccer Complex scoreboard stands in the northwest corner of the renovated field along Madison.

District staff were joined by representatives of McCown Gordon Construction and Schafer, Johnson, Cox and Frey Architecture to update the board on the progress of the soccer stadium.

Activities director Russell Baldwin and now former Operations Director Joe Dessenberger presented findings based on studies done to determine lighting placement on the west side of the field and how measurements came in shorter than expected.

The lighting company hired by the construction company moved the lights east that sit along Westview due to light spillage and effects on public property.

Due to that discovery, the playing area was defined as 192 feet wide (64 yards). The originally agreed-upon number in the bond was 200 feet wide. While 64 yards does meet KSHSAA standard, options were proposed at the Sept. 23 board meeting to discuss steps moving forward.

After discussing the updated situation with soccer coach Paul Burke, Baldwin suggested that the board consider moving the poles back eight feet to get back to a 200-foot field. The city of Derby would, however, be required to review photometrics to determine the light spillage and what increased lighting it would place on public property.

The pole relocation costs would be covered by construction and design contingency funds, while the district would pay for sod replacement/renewal.

“It gives us about three more yards. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it does play a factor into the game itself,” Baldwin added.

Other options that Dessenberger presented including moving the poles four feet to 196 feet or pushing it out to 210 feet. Like the preferred plan Baldwin presented on behalf of the district and soccer programs, costs of relocation in either plan would be covered by design and construction contingency with the district costs for sod replacement.

The option of leaving poles as they stand today does still exist, but that decision will be voted on at a later board meeting.

Board member Justin Kippenberger emphasized that he wants the project to proceed as originally planned in the voted bond.

“We’re spending taxpayer money on building a soccer stadium,” Kippenberger said. “Let’s do it right and the way we originally planned to do this. The light spillage can be worked through from what it sounds like.”

Regardless of decisions made due to lighting, Baldwin said the soonest the field would be available for games is Tuesday, October 22 for Senior Day for the boys’ roster. The possibility of the girls playing at the Derby Soccer Complex remains as any of these presented options would not take place until the end of the current school year.

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