Light poles at Reimer Field may arrive in time

With the Tabor College and Hillsboro High School teams both set to play home games in September, football season is already in the air. But the lights required for night games at Reimer Field will not be touching sky until after new poles arrive, at the earliest, during the first week of Septem?ber.

Damaged by wind during the first week of May, one of the old wooden poles snapped. The other three have since been removed, to be replaced with steel poles.

The tightness of the time?table for replacing the poles is such that both the high school and the college have arranged contingency plans.

Scheduled as its only home game during the first month of the season, the Sept. 12 high school contest against Smoky Valley may have a new location.

While the possibility of playing the game at Smoky Valley has been voiced locally, plans have been made to keep the game in Hillsboro.

?Right now, if those lights are not in, we will be playing at the elementary school,? said Robert Rempel, activities director. ?But they?re telling us that the lights will be ready to go.?

Kirby Fadenrecht, vice president for business and finance at Tabor, said the college?s contract with Elcon Service Inc. calls for the lights to be operable in time for the high school game. At the same time, without the poles, the project cannot go forward.

?The plan is for completion in time for the first home high school football game,? Faden?recht said.

Barring a traffic accident, Fadenrecht said the poles will arrive during the first week of September?but probably not a moment sooner.

?The manufacturers of these kinds of poles will not accept accelerated orders,? he said. ?They will give you a 12-to-16-week delivery commitment, and will not change that, because every college and school district in the country would have a need for last-minute delivery.

?There are only about two or three that manufacture these things and they have, sort of collusively, together decided not to accelerate orders,? he added.

?When we determined at the end of May or beginning of June what our type of light pole was going to be, after working together with the architectural and engineering company, the orders were finally placed. But from that point, the delivery was going to be first week of Septem?ber.?

Fadenrecht said that between now and then, the most Elcon can do is prepare footings for the poles. The footings will be roughly 7 feet in diameter and 14 to 18 feet deep.

The college team, slated to meet Sterling for its first home game of the season September 20, has made arrangements to play at 2:30 p.m., early enough to start and finish under sunlight.

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