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updated: 5/13/2014 6:23 PM

South Elgin High seeks funding for stadium lights

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  • Hoffman Estates kicks off against South Elgin during the first soccer game at South Elgin High School's new stadium when it opened in 2011.

       Hoffman Estates kicks off against South Elgin during the first soccer game at South Elgin High School's new stadium when it opened in 2011.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • The scoreboard at South Elgin's new athletic field when it debuted in 2011.

      The scoreboard at South Elgin's new athletic field when it debuted in 2011.
    Daily Herald photo

 
 

Piece by piece, the South Elgin High School community hopes to equip the school's stadium to bring it up to the standard of modern athletic fields.

Students have been using the stadium, which opened in 2011, only during daylight hours since it lacks the lighting needed for night games.

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Officials hope a fundraiser planned next month will help toward the $180,000 cost of purchasing and installing stadium lights.

The South Elgin High School Booster Club is sponsoring the first "Run for the Lights" -- including 10K, 5K, and 2-by-5K relay races and a family fun walk -- June 14. Races will be held on a flat, fast course starting and finishing at the high school track/parking lot, 760 E. Main St.

Organizers don't have a goal set for how much money the event should raise.

"We certainly don't expect to be able to subsidize the lights with one event," South Elgin High Principal James Edwards said. "The real goal here is to kind of bring community together and to see what a great community center this would be with lights and Friday night football."

Edwards hopes to bring in football and lacrosse feeder programs to play night games on the field.

"It's as much about community as it is about the school," he said. "Lights are kind of a way to actually build upon what already exists."

The 1,300 students involved in athletics from fall through spring play most games Saturday afternoons. With the new lights, the soccer, track, and lacrosse programs could use the field at night, Edwards said.

As with the building of the stadium, organizers are seeking corporate sponsorships.

The Booster Club got the stadium built with roughly $530,000 in donations largely through the support of eight local businesses and an individual donor.

Other than the lights, there are several more items on the list to complete the stadium, including a press box, permanent visitors' bleachers, and an artificial turf field.

"We don't have all the amenities of a modern athletic stadium," Edwards said. "But we've got a growing sports program. The boosters did a great job of getting things off the ground, but we've kind of flatlined with fundraising."

Edwards said the June 14 fundraiser is targeted to raise money for just the lights, but there will be future fundraisers for the other needed equipment.

The turf field alone is expected to cost $1 million.

"It's a great community. It's a great school. And we want a great stadium," Edwards said. "The hope is we have rejuvenated that spirit of sponsoring with this particular event."

For more information or to register for the race, visit runforlights.com/.

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