CHS student-athletes want lights on track
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- In 2018, Charlottesville High School's track and field was renovated. A new field, track, and bleachers were installed.
But one important feature was left out: lights.
At Thursday's school board meeting, parents and student-athletes brought the issue to the board, telling them that sometimes they can only use flashlights during the winter months. Otherwise, practices and meets are canceled.
"Often we try to get in baton handoffs, and when it gets late you cannot see the baton, you can't see the people in front of you," said a student-athlete at the meeting.
That's why lights are needed on Charlottesville High School's track. Sometimes the athletes, their coaches, and the public using it try to come up with solutions so they can stay as long as they can.
"Shining a light on the pole-vault pit, that's just really not optimal," said another student-athlete.
The concern was brought to the attention of the school board during a recent meeting. One local group is fundraising to help the school install them.
"So far we are close to about $15,000 raised and that's just scratching the surface," said Raul Arbelaez, President of the Black Knights Athletic Club.
Arbelaez anticipates the project will cost around $300,000 to $350,000.
"We hope that somewhere along the way if we raise enough money, the city will be able to chip in for the rest of it," he said.
He says the renovation project of the field a few years ago has provided a head start.
"I wasn't involved in that project, but it seems like there probably wasn't enough money to get the lights fully installed, but the electrical conduit, the wiring, the pole bases are all there," said Arbelaez.
He says because of this, the project won't cost nearly as much.
"We have an outstanding facility and having the lights will just allow us to use that facility in a safe manner for a greater number of hours," he said.
Arbelaez urges everyone to donate so the ball can get rolling on enabling longer practices and hosting meets. To do so, click here.