Not much is certain for the 2020 fall sports season. One thing is. There will be lights at North Oconee High School when the COVID-19 pandemic allows play to restart.
Work has begun at the school this week to install the new LED lights at Titan Stadium, the school’s baseball field, the softball field and on the soccer field.
Oconee County School District voted to approve the new lighting project back in March for NOHS and Oconee County Middle School. Cornatzer and Associates based in Cumming are installing the new lights at a proposed price of $702,195.
Oconee County High School and Malcom Bridge Middle School had LED lights installed last summer.
The project is expected to be done before the scheduled opening of school on August 5 should schools return to in person classes in the fall.
The light installation hasn’t been delayed at all by the COVID-19 pandemic. The start of installation was always planned for late May and early June.
“We had planned to start in late May or early June and we were able to hold those dates and do it just as planned,” OCS chief operations officer Brock Toole said. “We felt good about being outside and doing the work and everybody being able to socially distance the way they need to. It working well.”
There hasn’t been a date set for a light show presentation as of The Oconee Enterprise’s deadline. Toole confirmed there will be a presentation similar to the one hosted at OCHS last summer once the lights become operational.
There is uncertainty when those lights will be lit for games in the fall. If they are lit, there isn’t a guarantee that they will shine on a stadium full of people or empty bleachers.
OCS has been working on contingency plans should school return or remain online. The return of school could determine how the beginning of the 2020 sports calendar looks in August.
“We’re working on a number of contingencies and we’re going to follow the GHSA guidelines as well as guidelines from our local health officials,” OCS director of student services Dallas LaDuff said. “We’ve got some different working groups within the school system that are working on different plans depending on what the current situation is when its time to come back to school. We’re going to continue to do that and be as prepared as we can be and be ready to move forward as soon as we can.”