EIS sheds light on Kehler Stadium debate

EIS sheds light on Kehler Stadium debate

There has been an ongoing debate about whether there should be lights Installed at Kehler Field in Westfield to allow athletes to participate in sports after daylight hours. Many people agree that we should install these lights but there is also another side to this debate: the Kehler stadium neighbors. The people who live around Kehler have mentioned certain things which have stalled this decision to add lights to the field. 

On November 2, 2016, there was a Friday night lights game, the crowd was loud and the lights were on. The surrounding neighbors complain later that night about the lights. “The orientation of the lights tonight was possibly the worst they’ve ever been, at least from our property’s perspective,”  ‘Lemberg, a resident of Grove Stree added.” “I know that two years ago they erected these lights in the field and if I recall correctly, those lights were not the same height as they are tonight. They are way above the 15 feet that are stipulated by town code” (Tapinto.net). 

These residents’ reports don’t sound hopeful but there are improvements we can make. We could lower the lights to where it wouldn’t be blinding the neighbors. We could also make sure that the lights don’t cause enough sound to irritate them. 

What do students think about lighting up Kehler stadium? Mairin Fowler, an eighth grader at EIS said, “I think we should have lights at Kehler because games under the lights are very fun and the people who don’t live around it should not be opposed to the idea since they don’t live there.”

Eighth grader Reean Dias declared, “I think that we should have lights at Kehler because it would be fun to watch games at night and play there.” 

The lights at Kehler would be very useful since Westfield has many big sports teams. We wouldn’t have to travel for Friday night lights, we would be able to have our fans at Westfield supporting the teams to a victory. However, residents who live by Kehler and would be affected by lighting have concerns over sports seasons impinging on their homes. “My concern right now with the lights right now is that they’re not only for the football team, it’s also for the soccer team,” said Greg Kasko, a resident two blocks from Kehler Field.

 “I think it’s important for the public to understand that it’s a huge cost saving for our district if we have our student-athletes practicing on our fields rather than incurring transportation costs to bus them somewhere else where they might be able to practice,” said Ohlig, who was one of nine board members that voted to approve the temporary lighting proposed in March 2015.

This is a huge upside to adding lights at Kehler. We would reduce the cost of athletics in Westfield. We asked some more kids from Edison intermediate school about what they think about having Kehler stadium install lights on the fields. Eighth grader Noah Lederman stated, “Westfield public school teams should be able to have night games, and they wouldn’t have to travel to other towns to play sports. If I wanted to play sports at night with my friends and family, I would be able to.” 

Classmate Liam Washbourn said, “We would like to have pink out games at Kehler and any other activity that we could have there in the evenings.”

Nathan Carter, another eighth grader said, “I would go to the Friday night lights game if they were at Kehler. It would also be easier to go to a home game rather than going to a game far away.”  

As far as a person who works in the town, School Resource Officer Ricardo Johnson said, “If we had lighted fields it would be beneficial for the football team.”

There was one answer that was different from the rest. Anderson Isolda in 6th grade said, “Sometimes the Kehler stadium lights can be distracting if you live close like me.”

Although some town residents claim there shouldn’t be lights at Kehler, the pros outweigh the cons. This is a growing town for kids and teens. This town has many young people who play sports all day like me. Knowing that with daylight savings athletes can only work out or play games at Kehler until 5:00 PM bother many people. Westfield has amazing athletes that need night lights.