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Lights on baseball and softball fields to cost $397,000

by Larry Chowning

Members of the Middlesex County School Board learned Monday night at their regular monthly board meeting that the winning bid for installing lights on the Middlesex High School (MHS) baseball and softball fields came in at $397,000—$17,000 over budget.

School superintendent Dr. Peter Gretz informed the board the bid has been accepted and the $17,000 over budget will be paid half by the Middlesex County taxpayers and half by Friends Of Middlesex County Public Schools (FOMCPS), a non-profit group that worked with the county to fund the Syd Thrift Athletic Complex at MHS.

County officials speculated that the cost of the lighting would come in at around $380,000. The Middlesex Board of Supervisors (BOS) set aside $200,000 for the project in the county’s Capital Improvement Plan. The Friends group raised $180,000 toward the project, reported Dr. Gretz.

When the low bid revealed a $17,000 shortfall, the two groups got together and agreed to split the cost, said Gretz. “We are extremely excited about this and it will greatly expand the use for night games at our baseball and softball fields,” he said.

The MHS tennis courts were originally in the lighting plan but had to be removed when cost figures for installation of lights there took the project way over budget, said Dr. Gretz. 

This was also announced at the BOS meeting on October 2. BOS chair Chip Holt thanked the Friends for their efforts in making the project happen and for agreeing to split the cost of the $17,000 shortfall.

posted 10.11.2018

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